IBM has launched a series of new commercials that aim to show how the company’s renowned AI system, IBM Watson, helps improve the ESPN Fantasy Football experience.
One of the ads features Mike Greenberg having problems choosing his ESPN Fantasy Football lineup. “In fantasy football, indecision is a problem,” says the voiceover in the opening of the 15-second spot, which sees the TV show host watching the sticky notes he attached to a huge board as if he has a crime case to solve. The board, split in half, “hosts” dozens of pieces of paper and post-it notes that are connected by strings to help him make decisions in regard to the players he should boom and bust (a nod to the fact that Watson provides data related to the probability of a player scoring more than their projected point total – “boom” – or less than their projected point total – “bust”).
Toward the end of the spot, the voiceover informs that this is the reason why “IBM Watson analyzes millions of expert football sources, including Mike Greenberg, to help you with your big decisions”.
Watson analyzed millions of documents, including news articles, blog posts, videos and podcasts every week during the football season, and the insight that this analysis generated was presented by ESPN to users through the ESPN Fantasy Football app and website, helping them solve their “struggles”.
To promote this offering, IBM and ESPN have enlisted a group of influencers that included actor Jerry Ferrara, ESPN fantasy football expert Field Yates, NFL veteran turned ESPN commentator Charles Woodson, sports journalist Bonnie Bernstein, co-host of ESPN’s “The Fantasy Show” Daniel Dopp, MIT Math PhD student and former NFL player John Urschel, and ESPN injury analyst Stephania Bell, to enter a fantasy football league together.