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IBM Consulting and ESPN reimagine fantasy football

Our ongoing 5-year relationship has transformed the digital experience for millions of fans and helps keep ESPN at the top of the fantasy sports world.

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The winning play

Digital reinvention, mastered

25 billion insights generated by IBM Watson® delivered to millions of fantasy football players every season

Great insights can make or break a fantasy team. Together, IBM Consulting and ESPN have paved the way for fantasy players to make more informed trading and lineup decisions for their teams, using AI-powered insights from Watson.

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The challenge

Digital engagement, accelerated

In 2017, IBM teamed up with ESPN to help accelerate overall digital engagement through the fantasy football experience. From that larger vision, we collectively crafted solutions to deliver cutting-edge player stats and billions of AI-driven insights through the ESPN fantasy app, ultimately reimagining the entire digital experience.

The drawing board

Paper ideas brought to life

From napkin sketches to 25 billion insights and counting, IBM Consulting and ESPN are striving to push the goalposts past what is possible. By using both historical performance and daily news analysis through Watson Discovery, we have collectively transformed the way fantasy players get insights to make the most informed decisions for their teams.

An illustration of a sketch on a napkin


The beginning

It all started with a "back-of-the-napkin sketch" – a radical idea that could turn billions of unstructured data points into AI-powered insights for players and accelerate ESPN to the top of the fantasy sports world. Our first iteration was a simplistic player card in the ESPN fantasy football desktop experience that showed player stats and score distributions.

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Changing the game, changing the worldMany organizations are collaborating with IBM Consulting to help drive value and insight from vast quantities of data. Read more about their journeys here.CVS HealthFrom the huddle to healthcareCoca-Cola European PartnersFrom screen passes to soda popNatWest GroupFrom football to financial services