German soccer league Bundesliga introduces AI to enhance fan experience

Bundesliga, the top-tier soccer league in Germany announced that it is partnering Amazon Web Services (AWS). The pair hope to use artificial intelligence to enhance the experience that the sport has to offer for its fans.

The Bundesliga is the second-largest soccer league in the world when it comes to revenue. Photo: Granada via Wikimedia Commons

Opening up the game

The Deutsche Fußball Liga runs the Bundesliga and TechCrunch shared quotes from Andreas Heyden, the group’s executive vice president for digital sports. He highlighted that this partnership can enhance the experience of fans in different forms. Those watching the live can make use of the technology, along with those interacting online.

“We try to use technology in a way to excite a fan more, to engage a fan more, to really take the fan experience to the next level, to show relevant stats at the relevant time through broadcasting, in apps and on the web to personalize the customer experience,” he said, as reported by TechCrunch.

Heyden went on to emphasize that content can be more personalized for the league’s audience by partnering with AWS. This is because he feels that attention spans are shrinking so new technologies can help keep viewers engaged during slower periods of action or when the game has paused.

Wider usage

There are even more pauses nowadays following the introduction of video assistant referee (VAR) technology, which has been met with mixed responses. Altogether, VAR still needs to be refined as even though the technology is not at fault, the process still relies heavily on human intervention.

VAR Premier League
Global soccer is still in its trial and error stage when it comes to adopting new technologies. Photo: Premier League

However, with Bundesliga starting to embrace AI, there is the opportunity to expand its use to officiating matches. This would help reduce human error and ensure a fair result.

Additionally, AI can be used to provide intricate statistics for fans in real-time. The likelihood of a goal being scored could even be predicted. This feature could also cause a shift in the sports betting market as bettors will be able to make decisions based on better understandings.

Heyden adds that this can help with better reporting on the match as there would be more data to play with. Moreover, this feature will also be welcomed by sports scientists and analysts.

“We want to, with the help of technology, tell stories that could not have been told without the technology. There’s no chance that a reporter could come up with a number of what the probability of a shot [scoring in a given moment]. AWS can,” Heyden added.

Jadon Sancho
The appeal of the Bundesliga is growing among younger fans. There are also several emerging talents choosing to develop their careers in the league. Photo: Bundesliga

New opportunities

Meanwhile, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels states that his company’s services will help attract younger sports fans. He adds that this kind of experience wasn’t possible until recently because the technology was not around.

Vogels concludes that the acceleration of machine learning software and similar technologies has enabled the company to help introduce new real-time features for fans.

Altogether, Bundesliga is often a pioneer when it comes to introducing new initiatives. Therefore, it won’t be a surprise to see other leagues such as La Liga and Premier League launch similar services over the next few years.

What are your thoughts on high-level soccer institutions starting to embrace AI technology? Let us know what you think in the comment section?

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