Alexa, “open Arsenal and give me a match summary.” Yes, Premiere League football from Arsenal is available to through Amazon Echo. You can access game summaries, match reports, injuries, hear about upcoming matches and listen to live commentary on game day.
The Alexa skill arrived for US and UK users just in time for Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City Sunday. There was already an unofficial flash briefing devoted to Arsenal called, Gunners News, but this user experience goes well beyond a flash briefing. The content is both dynamic and rich and is a great option for many people that don’t have access to watch games live. Marketing agency AKQA developed the skill for Arsenal Football Club and Managing Director Sam Kelly said:
Arsenal have always been a club about the future and bringing the Arsenal fan experience to new platforms. The Arsenal Alexa Skill demonstrates their investment and commitment to innovation for their fans, allowing them to live stream every game to the Amazon Echo platform.
Arsenal is the First Professional Sports Team with an Alexa Skill
It seems surprising that Amazon Alexa Skills Kit has been out since 2015 and that in the Spring of 2017 the first professional sports time joins the platform, at least in the U.S. However, I reviewed all 304 sports-related skills this morning through the Alexa app. There are many unofficial Alexa skills and flash briefings associated with sports teams and there are skills for leagues such as Major League Baseball, PGA Tour, NASCAR and NCAA March Madness. However, none claim to be official offerings by sports teams. It appears that Arsenal is not only the first Premiere League team with an Alexa skill, they are the first professional sports team with a skill.
This is surprising given that nearly all professional sports teams have mobile apps to connect with fans that have insatiable appetites for team news. As voice assistant adoption takes off, expect to see a lot more sports coming online for Alexa. Arsenal is paving the way. However, I hope the next update doesn’t just use Alexa’s voice and instead adopts some rich audio featuring players, coaches and commentators.