Helping Food Network Reach More Viewers Through Interactive Experiences

For fans, one of the most exciting things about Tournament Of Champions is picking their favourite chefs and rooting for them as the tournament progresses. We really wanted to elevate that sense of excitement and competition by engaging viewers through Twitter in the build up to the second season airing. Proxima’s Tournament Bracket App enabled us to do just that - creating a personalised, gamified experience that has really helped us to build excitement and grow the Tournament Of Champions fanbase.

avatar Maria Russo, Senior Digital Editor at Food Network

For Starters

With around 100 million households subscribed, Food Network is one of the most popular cable channels in the USA. A key ingredient in helping the channel to promote its many shows is the network’s Twitter handle, which is followed by over 4.7 million people. Throughout April 2021, Food Network partnered with Proxima to help engage fans ahead of the highly anticipated second season of competitive cooking show, Tournament Of Champions.

The Challenge

Hosted by Guy Fieri, Tournament Of Champions pits well-known chefs against each other in a knockout-style tournament. Perhaps the show’s most popular element is the ‘Randomizer’, which randomly assigns chefs with the protein, produce, equipment, cooking style and time that they have to cook with, making each cook-off truly unique. The opening season proved a huge hit with viewers, but it was vital for Food Network to keep the momentum going and expand the show’s fan base during season two.

This meant going much further than posting show reminders to the channel’s Twitter followers. Serving up a Twitter experience that not only created real excitement about the new series, but also encouraged users to share that excitement, was the order of the day.

As a bracket competition, the format for Tournament Of Champions naturally lent itself to offering followers an interactive prediction experience. Having successfully deployed our Tournament Bracket App ahead of series one, Food Network knew that we could deliver the exact experience that both they and the show’s fans were looking for as season two approached.

The Solution

Delivered through our Iris Conversational AI platform, Proxima’s Tournament Bracket App helped Food Network to create real excitement about the new series of Tournament Of Champions by offering fans a truly personalised and gamified interactive Twitter experience.

The week before the series launch, an initial ‘trigger’ tweet was posted to all Food Network’s Twitter followers, giving the chance to win a cash prize and merchandise by taking part in a Tournament Of Champions interactive predictions experience.

The click-through then loaded an automated conversation between users and Food Network via Direct Messages, offering the option to view the different chefs taking part and predict the winners of the first round of the tournament. Based on these predictions, the dialogue then asked users for predictions for the winners of round two and so on, personalising every interaction automatically, until a tournament champion had been selected.

A customised image was then generated for every user, displaying their tournament predictions in a bracket format. To help Food Network create even more interest in the show, these images could be instantly shared by users on their own timelines, with a link back to the interactive experience itself.

Once the tournament commenced, personalised updates were then sent to users based on the predictions they had made, alongside a reminder of their customised bracket image. For example, a user could be alerted that four of their eight picks from round one had progressed through to the next round, helping them to stay fully invested throughout the series. Fans could even watch the show live while making real-time predictions on their phones, offering a truly multimedia experience.

At the end of the tournament, each user received their final score, helping to create friendly competition amongst the Tournament Of Champions’ fan base and drive even more engagement with the show through Twitter.

The Results


Over 8.5k unique users engaged

Over 9k bracket predictions experiences completed

90% overall completion rate for the bracket predictions experience

Our Tournament Bracket App formed an important part of Food Network’s strategy to help grow the Tournament Of Champions’ fan base during season two.

Creating a unique, interactive Twitter experience not only generated excitement in the build-up to the tournament, but also kept users emotionally invested in the outcome as the tournament progressed, helping to boost overall viewing figures. The ability to share predictions on users’ timelines also allowed Food Network to reach whole groups of new people and expand the show’s reach with every interaction.

To find out more about how our technology is helping brands like Food Network grow their brand presence and customer reach, get in touch with us here.


Start the conversation

Ready to see Iris in your business?


Talk to us about how to use Iris to engage, empower and support your customers.
Take your real-time conversations to the next level.