Artificial intelligence is becoming more mainstream in business, life, and throughout the sports industry. AI – and its ability to make decisions, analyze data, and even create content – is set to revolutionize the world economy and we’re already seeing significant examples of AI at work within our industry.

The surge of excitement in the business community is reinforced by significant investment. Per Pitchbook, VC firms in 2022 invested $1.37B in private AI companies, nearly as much as was invested in total from 2017-2021 ($1.69B).


To highlight the sophistication and the ease of use for content-creating AI, it’s only fair to let the technology speak for itself. The next several sections of this blog were written using a simple prompt within ChatGPT – the AI chatbot from OpenAI:

“Write a blog post about the role of AI in sports marketing.”

As AI technology continues to advance, it is likely to have a significant impact on the sports industry, including in the realm of sports marketing. One known use case for AI in sports marketing is the ability to analyze vast amounts of data to provide valuable insights. By using machine learning algorithms, AI systems can help teams and brands better understand their audience and tailor their marketing efforts accordingly.

Another potential use for AI in sports marketing is the ability to create personalized content and recommendations for individual users. By analyzing a person’s preferences and interests, AI systems can recommend relevant content and advertisements, potentially making the experience of engaging with a sports brand more enjoyable and effective.

In addition to these uses, AI could also be used to automate certain marketing tasks, such as creating social media posts or sending email campaigns. This could save time and resources for sports teams and brands, allowing them to focus on more high-level strategies.

Not bad for 15 seconds of work. It’s become clear that tasks that were once thought to be uniquely human endeavors, such as writing, art, and critical thinking, are quickly becoming automatable.

While the implications are vast, and potentially a little intimidating, the near future will yield impressive uses of AI for content-creation, marketing personalization, and sponsorship activation that have the potential to increase productivity across the board. It’ll be important for sports organizations to prepare for a rapidly changing landscape, and to seek help in understanding how AI, paired with human ingenuity and preparation, can yield incredible results.


Notable Use Cases in Sports

In December 2022, the Los Angeles Chargers announced a partnership with MeetKai, a conversational AI that can integrate with virtual reality technology, like an Oculus headset, to transcend the 2D chat interface. Chargers fans will soon have the capability to view all plays that match a requested criterion within seconds, as the bot quickly combs through a comprehensive database of footage from the season. A request like, “Show me all running plays that went for 20+ yards”, becomes a real possibility for anyone with access to the AI. More than just a neat feature for fan engagement, the platform can and will be used by coaching staffs, players, and front offices for film study and decision-making.

MeetKai has also produced a virtual recreation of the Chargers’ locker room that fans can “tour.” Image Source: Meet Kai

Social media seems to be one realm that has already undergone a mini AI-revolution. Feeds already prominently feature AI-generated content, and savvy marketers are discovering new ways to incorporate the technology into their social strategies. Companies like WSC Sports and VideoVerse are using AI to analyze game footage and create automated highlights that can be shared across social media. The low-hanging fruit in the space will be using ChatGPT or similar programs to craft copy for posts, or even assist in drafting a monthly schedule. Timelines have become flooded with AI-generated art. Take a look at the feature image in this blog post. The robot imagery was generated using DALL.E, another platform from OpenAI.

Other AI initiatives are aimed primarily at enhancing business operations. One example is Satisfi Labs, which powers messaging platforms and virtual assistants for teams and venues, including the Minnesota Vikings and University of Florida.

Properties like the Columbus Crew and Cleveland Browns have used Wicket’s AI to let fans choose a facial recognition scan rather than presenting a ticket. Wicket also has the capability to monitor crowd density via cameras and alert staff when certain areas are becoming overcrowded.


Photo Source: Wicket

Far more uses are being developed for the competition side of the industry, as far as optimizing athlete performance, scouting, recruiting, and more. Even ChatGPT, if prompted correctly, can help an athlete develop a nutrition and training plan for the offseason. A more controversial example is the Video Assisted Review (VAR) in soccer which serve as an AI referee on stages as large as the World Cup. The NBA recently announced it’ll be implementing Hawk-Eye Innovations (owned by Sony) to create 3D data models of each game, for the purposes of analytics and real-time officiating. The platform is already used in professional tennis, and it’s not long before similar technology is implemented across other popular sports.

At Navigate, we are integrating AI systems into our research process, and working with our clients to learn and understand the current technology, while preparing for the imminent next wave of innovation. It’s become clear that when it comes to artificial intelligence, companies need to develop a strategy or risk falling behind.


Have questions about AI use cases in sports? Reach out to, or ask your favorite chat bot.