Case Study: What designing a chatbot for Rugby World Cup taught us about digital fans

Wizeline partnered with USA Rugby to build a chatbot for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018— the first time the tournament took place on American soil.

Wizeline and USA Rugby launched this digital fan experience on Facebook Messenger through USA Rugby’s Facebook page. Fans asked the chatbot for score updates, match schedules, as well as local restaurant and bar recommendations. To initiate a conversation with the chatbot, fans just had to send a message to USA Rugby using Facebook Messenger.

“With the very digitally engaged fanbase we have, we know a robust mobile fan experience will be important to tournament attendees,” said Calder Cahill, USA Rugby Director of Digital Media and Communications. “We’re excited to activate the Wizeline project as it enables us to engage with fans in real-time, provide them with the event information they seek and create additional opportunities to interact with them outside the walls of AT&T Park.”

We see a 24% increase in adoption and engagement with event bots versus mobile applications.

Chatbots offer a digital and conversational fan experience with minimal to no ramp-up time for users. Professional sports organizations like USA Rugby are exploring new technologies like chatbots as a way to provide entertainment while also communicating important event information to attendees in real-time.

“Chatbots are a great way to engage a global fan base that spans across time zones and continents, and we see a 24% increase in adoption and engagement with event bots versus mobile applications,” said Rusty von Waldburg, VP of Conversational UI at Wizeline. “Our chatbot platform enables us to quickly build and release chatbots, which makes Wizeline a great digital partner for major sporting events like Rugby World Cup Sevens.”

Matches took place at AT&T Park on July 20-22, 2018. The foremost stand-alone event in international rugby sevens competition, the tournament saw 24 of the best men’s and 16 of the best women’s teams from around the world compete for the coveted title of Rugby World Cup champions.

Interested in building a digital fan experience for your next big event? Visit our chatbots page for more information. One of our specialists can answer any questions you may have about building a custom voice or text bot.