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June 6, 2019

Gamechanger Keeps Families Connected With 8 Million Automated Stories Every Year

By: Shawn Parks

Parents have plenty to worry about, keeping up with youth sports is no longer one of them

How much more challenging is it to manage your day since having kids? I say somewhere between ‘significantly’ and ‘exponentially.’ For fellow parents, this is strictly a rhetorical question. It’s chaos. Lucky for us, technology has kept pace with the evolving concerns in ways that our parents were never able to benefit from.

For me, it became more obvious as my kids get older and my family becomes increasingly active in youth sports. Like many other parents, my wife and I fundamentally agree on the wide variety of benefits provided by extracurricular activities. However, those of us in this scenario know that it is not always sunshine and rainbows. I’d be lying if I claimed that I focus on the big-picture benefits of healthy competition while scrambling to get ready for every Saturday morning soccer game.

The hardest part is balancing the schedules for games and practice for multiple children.  Inevitably, between life, sports, work, and other activities, there will be conflicts. Like other dads, I was guilted volunteered to coach as well. This sometimes meant missing my other kids’ games as I was responsible for a team. Needless to say, I needed a way to stay connected and know what is happening even when I can’t be there.

This is where the tech comes in

Gamechanger is an app that allows me and millions of other parents to stay organized with alerts, messaging, and calendar sync. Founded in 2009, the company provides an all-in-one amateur sports app to more than 200,000 youth sports teams. These teams and their communities are empowered with live game updates, post-game recaps, and detailed season stats. The best part is not even keeping me in the right place—it’s the scoring and game summaries that are the next best thing to seeing the game live.

So how does a company of 50 people write game recaps for millions of games including 70 percent of the high school championship games, Little League, USA baseball, and USA softball? They automate it.

“At Gamechanger, our goal is to support youth sports in the community. Narrative Science helps support that. We can provide written summaries to players and fans immediately following every game. This is something that was never possible before natural language generation.”

As a technology company, its main contribution to parenthood was taking on something that was never before possible. There was never an option to have people manually write about every game. Doing so is an impossible task. So they harnessed natural language generation (NLG) to harness a classic “work smarter, not harder” scenario.

Score points with your in-laws

I’m truly saving the best for last. One of my favorite uses of the post-game recaps is sharing them with family. So check this out: your daughter scores the winning run in today’s game.  Your parents couldn’t make it, your in-laws live out of state, and their favorite uncle (your hyper-competitive brother) is at his own kids’ games. What do you do? Humble brag, of course!

Send everyone the Gamechanger article with her as the star. You’re proud, they’re impressed, and no one knows that the article was written by a machine.