Foxtel and Mindshare create cricket AI bot to predict when wickets fall

WPP AUNZ’s Mindshare has worked with Fox Sports and Google to roll out ‘Monty’, an AI bot designed to predict when wickets fall in cricket matches

The announcement:


This Summer, Aussie cricket fans have enjoyed more than another Test win. They had front row seats for the debut of an entirely new breed of cricket star.

In collaboration with Foxtel, FOX SPORTS and Google, Mindshare has built ‘Monty’ – the greatest cricketing mind ever created.

Monty is a custom machine learning model designed to spot when and how wickets would fall in live games, in real time.

Conceived as part of Foxtel’s promise to provide cricket like never before, the cutting-edge innovation has quickly evolved from a marketing platform to a customer experience.

Thanks to the ground-breaking machine learning project, Monty can spot a wicket up to 5 minutes before it falls – and instantly alert fans to watch it live on FOX CRICKET.

Monty has watched every single ball bowled by the Australian National Men’s team the past 18 months more than 500,000 times and has built the patterns into a bespoke ‘Wicket Warning’ system for Foxtel viewers and cricket fans.

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 dramatic moment on the pitch.

Over the summer cricket season, Monty has been continuously learning, and has predicted close to 498 wickets across international cricket games and is delivering unprecedented cut through and cost-effective conversions for Foxtel.

Monty’s already making an impression with cricket fans. Foxtel enjoyed a double-digit increase in weekly sales growth following his promotion into the starting lineup.

As the power of Monty’s predictions became clear, Mindshare designed new experiences for fans to tap into his cricketing insight. 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.

Fan support saw Monty step into homes across the country, and as 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.

With one code under his belt, the team are now looking towards the winter season for the evolution of this ground-breaking campaign.

Christopher Pocock, Senior Marketing Manager at Foxtel, was quick to see the potential in pioneering machine learning: “Monty’s 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.”

Jack Smyth, Mindshare Head of Innovation, says: “We’re at the cutting edge of creativity and data. Monty’s proof that a new era of analytics is here and we’ve ensured Foxtel and FOX SPORTS are leading the way. 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.”

Katie Rigg-Smith, Mindshare CEO Australasia, says: “As an agency we pride ourselves on original thinking. Monty’s a powerful demonstration of what that means for our clients: rather than promote a new sport channel, we found a new way for fans to enjoy every game.”

The announcement.


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