Yahoo! Sports uses NLG to produce draft over 70 million reports and match recaps—each one unique—that help engage, monetize, and delight its massive user base.

  • Over 70 million fantasy football player recaps
  • Increased time spent on page for website visitors

Yahoo! Sports | Industry: Sports & Entertainment
Yahoo! Fantasy Football boasts millions of users who love the game and are always hungry for more content. That’s why every week of the season, the Wordsmith platform from Automated Insights creates personalized narratives for millions of Yahoo! fantasy football users.

Engaging with Personalized Stories

Ken Fuchs, head of Yahoo! Sports, told Barron’s that users “have an almost insatiable appetite for information, research and detail.” Barron’s reported that Yahoo! users “spend an average of 29 hours a year on their teams.”

Engagement, of course, is the result of content that users love. That’s why Yahoo! partners with Ai to, in the words of The Washington Post’s Matt McFarland, “make our beloved fantasy teams seem even more important.”

The Automated Insights Wordsmith platform uses natural language generation to transform fantasy football data into draft reports, match previews, and match recaps. The platform generates millions of stories each week of the season, essentially giving every fantasy owner a personalized sports reporter writing about their team.

The stories are produced at a speed and scale that would be impossible for human writers, but McFarland says “[it’s] not especially obvious that they were generated by a computer.” In fact, Yahoo! asked Ai to give its reports a particularly snarky tone.

“Sports is about having fun and marrying that with your passion, and wanting to win. To us, having that tone is an important part of the success,” Ken Fuchs told the Washington Post. “When I get my recap and it tells me unfortunately my game tape is not going to be broken down in any coaching clinics, it gives me a little smile, and allows the guy who I lost to shoot me a note quoting his recap and talking a little smack.”

Barron’s Alexandre Eule notes that the 10 minutes he spent looking at his Yahoo! fantasy report card would have been, “a long time with any personal e-mail, let alone one generated by a computer.”

Accounting for the average number of unique readers per week and the average number of minutes per visit, Yahoo! has added over 100 years of incremental audience engagement by working with Automated Insights. “Engagement, of course, is a key metric for advertisers,” said Eule. “That’s surely not lost on Yahoo! or its CEO.”

When I get my recap and it tells me unfortunately my game tape is not going to be broken down in any coaching clinics, it gives me a little smile, and allows the guy who I lost to shoot me a note quoting his recap and talking a little smack

Ken Fuchs
Head of Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo!
Monetizing with Effective Ads

As personalized content is engaging Yahoo!’s fantasy users, it’s helping to monetize them, too.

McFarland and Eule specifically called out the Toyota ads integrated with Ai content. McFarland’s ad was an amusing quip about the Camry; Eule’s ad had “embedded the logo of a league-mate with the best draft performance.” But the advertising benefits for Yahoo! were more than anecdotal, of course. Personalized, engaging content helps Yahoo! sell advertising and sponsorships at higher rates than standard content could support.

Delighting Readers with Remarkable Content

Yahoo!’s fantasy football content offers users a rare mix of personalization, insight, and wit—a combination that users might not expect from an algorithm.

This form of social brand advocacy deepens the engagement of fans and their friends, which of course further expands Yahoo! Fantasy’s monetization potential. Leveraging the power of automation and personalization, Ai helps Yahoo! build success one user at a time.

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