The NBA has been utilizing artificial intelligence to efficiently create highlight reels and promote fan engagement, Melissa Brenner explained in conversation with colleague Courtney DiGia as part of Variety Studio presented by Canva at Advertising Week.

Brenner is the executive vice president and head of digital media at the NBA, while DiGia is senior director of deal strategy and forecasting, content partnerships.

“You can’t start a conversation now without talking about artificial intelligence,” Brenner said. She shared that the NBA is “very deep partners with Microsoft,” among other companies.

The league has started an “Ask NBA” AI bot that can respond to questions like, “Where was LeBron James born?” or “How many points did he score last game?”

DiGia has recently been leading efforts to renew the league’s partnership with Google, which encompasses the distribution of NBA TV and League Pass on YouTube TV and YouTube TV’s sponsorship of the NBA Finals, among other projects.

Additionally, the NBA relaunched their app last fall, the pinnacle of a two-year endeavor; the team took inspiration from popular social media platforms.

Brenner said of the relaunch, “We took a lot of behavior that we observe from social media, the short form vertical storytelling that we know our fans enjoy on Snap, on TikTok — we took and absorbed into our app. And we’ve seen triple engagement year-over-year from watching how fans were consuming NBA content in other locations and bringing that within our own ecosystem.”

Expanding on this topic, DiGia noted that original behind-the-scenes content on the NBA app has grown when compared to last year.

Speaking on their internal processes, DiGia commented on the importance of having a diverse set of perspectives in meetings and having the space to share one’s thoughts, crediting her colleague Brenner with allowing her that.