01 Sep 2017

By: Sport Industry Group

With the new football season underway, online football media outlet, Goal, has released a Facebook Messenger bot that allows fans keep up with the latest news about their favourite players and clubs.

Goal’s Messenger Bot, named Robot Carlos after the Brazilian left-back, is built to provide news about the top five European leagues and over 100 of the world’s most popular players.

The bot is also able to provide news on thousands more clubs and players, due to being integrated with Goal’s web-properties. Whether fans wish to get the latest Chelsea news or find out what Freiburg forward Nils Petersen is up to, Goal’s bot has it covered. As well as getting news on request, users can subscribe to daily updates or read snippets of stories from inside Facebook’s Messenger app.

The Beta launched six months ago and according to Goal the Messenger bot is already averaging approximately 10,000 daily active users and has just over 100,000 subscribers, with more than 500 new fans subscribing every day.

The most popular subscriptions are for Barcelona, Premier League news, La Liga news, Real Madrid, and Manchester United. At the bottom of the subscription list are the likes of Manchester United defender Phil Jones and Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi, both have two subscribers each.

Goal’s head of audience, Sam Brown said: “While it was expected that users would use Messenger Bots to ask questions, in reality that hasn’t been the case. Instead, our users are subscribing for updates on their favourite team and choosing to get daily bulletins in the same way people used to subscribe to email newsletters. This has led to us making changes to the user journey, with a focus on progressing fans from the morning bulletin to another part of the bot and through to Goal’s website.

“Although Goal’s audience is passionate about football, our fans aren’t followers of just one club, rather they’re interested in multiple teams and big-name players. This is an advantage that the Goal bot has over newsletter subscriptions, in that we know what clubs and players our users and interested in and can serve them news on those topics.

“This month’s big story was Neymar’s record-breaking transfer to PSG. As well as being able to push updates to fans of Neymar, Barcelona and PSG, we also added an element to all of our daily bulletins which offered fans the opportunity to read the latest Neymar news and subscribe to updates.”

To create Robot Carlos, Goal leveraged Chatfuel’s platform, which helps brands build bots for Messenger without a single line of code. Chatfuel has helped numerous leading brands seamlessly create bots, including Uber, The New York Times, Adidas and more. With Chatfuel, organizations can build bots that share information with users, conveniently complete transactions and other capabilities.

“Football has one of the strongest and most engaged fan bases of any sport in the world,” said Dmitrii Dumik, co-founder and CEO of Chatfuel. “With Robot Carlos, fans now have a personalized way to follow and feel connected to their favourite teams and players.”

Over the course of the season, Goal plans to continue to update their Messenger bot, ensuring the latest players are added and hot topics are included in the daily bulletins. Goal also plans to release Messenger bots to serve non-English speaking regions, including Italy, Germany and Spain.