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​AI-driven CX delivers Foxtel a cricketing win

Artificial intelligence is used to alert cricket fans to wickets before they fall

Foxtel and Mindshare are looking to lift fan engagement to the next level for cricket fans using artificial intelligence (AI).

‘Monty’, a machine learning (ML) model, has been spotting when and how wickets would fall in live games, in real time, and alerting fans before it happens. Built as a collaboration between Foxtel, FOX Sports and Google, Mindshare Monty can spot a wicket up to five minutes before it falls.

To do this, Monty has watched every single ball bowled by the Australian National Men’s team over the past 18 months more than 500,000 times and has built the patterns into a bespoke ‘Wicket Warning’ system. The machine learning model works by recognising patterns in player behaviour based on past form and the live conditions of the pitch. When Monty’s confident a wicket will fall the model autonomously deploys new creative and adapts bidding across dynamic display, pre-roll and digital outdoor so fans never miss a moment.

Over the summer cricket season, Monty has been continuously learning, and predicted close to 498 wickets across international cricket games. According to Foxtel, it's delivering unprecedented cut through and cost-effective conversions, with Foxtel enjoying double-digit increases in weekly sales growth following his promotion into the starting line-up.

Monty’s predictions were integrated into the FOX Cricket app during the Boxing Day Test, with push notifications alerting fans to the next wicket published over the course of the biggest game of the summer. In addition, a Google Assistant experience on Google Home allowed fans to say 'Hey Google, ask Monty for the next wicket' and listen as he described  how comfortable the current batsman should be at the crease.

Foxtel senior marketing manager, Christopher Pocock, said Monty exceeded all expectations and earned his spot on the team by delivering results every match.

“This media innovation is a perfect demonstration of how creativity and data can combine to create a totally new experience for fans,” he said.

Mindshare head of innovation, Jack Smyth, said Monty is proof a new era of analytics is here.

“Monty’s learning more with every single ball and working with Foxtel and FOX Sports we’re going to build on our first mover advantage. To see an idea leap from messaging all the way through to a totally new way to watch the game is incredibly exciting – and only possible thanks to the Foxtel team’s appetite for innovation.”

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