The IAAF World Championships is the biggest event in athletics besides the Olympic Games.
For this year’s Worlds, in London, the IAAF wanted to reach out to new athletics fans. So they teamed up with Skype, one of the biggest conversation platforms in the world.
The result was SPIKES Bot.
We’ve been helping Skype create chatbots with character for a while now. We worked on Heston Bot, and Your Face. But SPIKES Bot was different: a live reporting bot, bringing you the latest stories from the World Championships in a new, conversational way.
Users could watch highlights, check results, and learn more about the athletes and events. It was a fun, free way to get involved in the World Championships, wherever you were.
I’ve just returned to the office after ten days at the London Stadium – along with over 700,000 fans, and 2,200 athletes from 203 nations. And I have to say, it was terrific fun.
I could tell you about Ramil Guliyev, who came from nowhere to win the men’s 200m. I could tell you about the incredible battle for the women’s long jump title, which saw the top four finishers spread across just 6cm. Or I could tell you about Hero the Hedgehog: one of the most popular sports mascots ever, even if his sense of style is, um…interesting.
But I won’t, because you should see for yourself with SPIKES Bot.