IBM, ESPN Announce New Feature In Fantasy Football App That Uses IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence To Build Fair Trade



ARMONK, NY, September 10, 2020 / PRNewswire / – Today, IBM (NYSE: IBM) and ESPN announced Trade Assistant with IBM Watson, a new feature in the ESPN Fantasy Football app designed to help fantasy football players make more informed trades and fairer throughout the 2020 season. The feature builds on the efforts of ESPN and IBM to make the fantasy football game more engaging using artificial intelligence (AI).

Assistant commercial at IBM Watson is designed to reduce the complexity of fantasy football trades by suggesting trades that assess the fairness and value of a proposed trade – helping fantasy football players make smarter, more informed decisions. Trade Assistant with IBM Watson will assess the value of a player on a roster, the cost of losing a player, and the fairness involved in a trade. The new IBM functionality is only integrated into the ESPN Fantasy Football apps (iOS and Android mobile).

“IBM is a long-time pivotal sponsor of ESPN Fantasy Football. Over the years, we have worked with IBM to uniquely integrate the brand and Watson technology to enhance the fantasy player experience and spark deeper engagement with sports fans, ”said Marco Forte, Senior Vice President, Disney Advertising Sales. “This year our relationship is reaching new heights with Assistant commercial at IBM Watson, which is a testament to the types of innovation that can emerge from exceptional collaboration. ”

To suggest trades, Assistant commercial at IBM Watson uses Watson Discovery’s advanced natural language processing (NLP) capabilities to extract, translate and review player and football team input such as player stats and expert sentiment from sources such as ESPN. com, news articles, blogs and podcast transcripts. This helps eliminate bias and uncover new information from unstructured and structured data treasures buried in a variety of different document types.

Language is a constant challenge for businesses as it is constantly evolving and comes in many different forms. NLP analyzes language into its building blocks to help organizations discover ideas, make more informed decisions, and create conversational experiences. Today’s news builds on a series of recent announcements showing how IBM is progressing Watson ability to understand the language of business – from marketing the advanced capabilities of Project Debater to transforming the fan experience at the US Open.

“Like the business world, Fantasy Football has access to massive amounts of data that can be extremely difficult to digest and glean meaningful information to make more informed and less biased decisions. IBM is moving forward. Watson ability to understand the language of business to help our clients turn insights into actionable insights, ”said Noah Syken, vice president of sports and entertainment partnerships, IBM. “Trade Assistant with IBM Watson is a chance for the millions of ESPN Fantasy Football users to interact directly with IBM Watson on a daily basis.”

Currently in its fourth season, ESPN Fantasy Football Information with IBM Watson uses machine learning techniques to transform unstructured data into actionable information by assigning a “boom” or “bust” designation based on the player’s likelihood of exceeding or not meeting their projected score range. Users can then compare player data to balance the risks and rewards in their roster. When the average fantasy football user uses less than four data sources before making decisions, the Player Information with IBM Watson This feature analyzed nearly 228 million articles and provided 25 billion pieces of information to ESPN Fantasy Football users around the world during the 2019 season.1

For more information on IBM Watson, visit

To play ESPN Fantasy Football Insights with IBM Watson and use Assistant commercial at IBM Watson, register at, or download the ESPN Fantasy app from the App Store and Android stores.

Angelena Abate
[email protected]

About ESPN Fantasy
Part of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment, ESPN Fantasy is the # 1 provider of fantasy sports with a comprehensive portfolio of award-winning games and content serving over 20 million fantastic gamers across the web, mobile, audio, linear TV and video streaming. Drawing on resources from nearly every aspect of the Division, ESPN Fantasy continues to innovate, grow, and reach new and younger audiences with every initiative.

1 IBM and ESPN based Dec 31 2019 metric


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