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The NFL Launches an AI-Powered Game in Partnership with Amazon

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the NFL are teaming up to capture the attention of Gen Z through a cutting-edge AI-powered game. Called "Playbook Pass Rush," the online game, available on app stores and the website, allows players to devise offensive and defensive plays using real-time NFL data, incorporating a predictive feature called pressure probability. Developed by AWS using Amazon Titan technology, the collaboration aims to educate fans, particularly Gen Z, on the real-time application of advanced statistics during NFL games.

Ari Entin, Principal of Sports Marketing at AWS, emphasizes that the interactive game serves as a brand marketing tool to showcase pressure probability—a predictive model assessing the likelihood of each defender creating pressure during plays. The game relies on four AI models based on an extensive dataset comprising over 90,000 plays from the past five years of football, which launched across NFL properties in 2023. While the current player count remains undisclosed, the NFL and AWS are actively promoting the game through organic content on social media platforms such as Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and Facebook.

Mike Band, Senior Manager of NFL Next Gen Stats Research and Analytics, notes that the game is an effective way to raise awareness and understanding of the stats among fans.

Several NFL players, including Kelvin Beachum of the Arizona Cardinals, Tyrod Taylor of the New York Giants, and Orlando Brown Jr. of the Cincinnati Bengals, who share an interest in AI, actively promote the game on their social media channels.

Despite the strategic promotion, the budget specifics for this initiative remain undisclosed. According to Pathmatics, the NFL spent over $44 million on advertising in 2023, up from $31 million in 2022, while Amazon spent over $4.1 billion in 2023, up from $3.8 billion in 2022. Lauren Papes, an Associate Partner at Prophet, emphasizes the educational aspect of the game, citing increased fan engagement and potential new revenue streams as key benefits. The collaboration exemplifies the growing role of generative AI in shaping marketing strategies for major sports organizations.


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