By Sam Seddon
The Wimbledon Fortnight is nearly here and the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) once again transforms itself from a small private tennis club in South West London into a massive, data hungry environment!
During The Championships, IBM and AELTC create a unique digital environment providing an immersive experience to tennis fans around the world. This is achieved through insights and visually innovative content delivering to fans an experience intended to be “the next best thing to being here.”
This year, to mark our 25 year partnership, we are introducing the Wimbledon Social Command Centre, powered by IBM Softlayer cloud, as well as enhanced mobile and iPad apps and a redesigned SlamTracker. Together, we plan to deliver the most engaging Championship yet.
The Wimbledon Social Command Centre will help the digital editorial team understand ‘what are the key topics of conversation happening now?’ Who is of most interest; which players are being talked about; what are the topics of conversation and who is influencing that the most? By understanding the conversation in real time they can respond by providing more engaging content and draw people into their own digital channels delivering a better fan experience.
Also new for 2014 are redesigned visually engaging mobile iPhone and Android apps providing comprehensive coverage of the Championships through live scores and results, news, live blogs, photos, live video and more. The new apps will also allow personalization of content so users can develop their own unique feed of data tailored to their interests.
IBM SlamTracker has also been redesigned. A new sleek interface simplifies data insights for tennis fans, displaying graphical insights for key points as matches unfold. SlamTracker will continue to provide Keys to the Match. These have been refined and simplified so that they are more fan friendly and based on specific stats within the players’ control.
All these solutions require a seamless digital experience. That is all delivered via IBM’s private SmartCloud. We use sophisticated dynamic provisioning technology to analyse multiple data sources from player popularity, web logs to social media conversations allocating just enough capacity.
Getting the capacity just right allows IBM to save costs while still delivering the highest quality of service. New for 2014 we have added SmartCloud Orchestrator into the environment that has helped reduce provisioning times by 50 percent. We also use Watson technologies to constantly analyze the next 90 minute predictions and the multiple structured and unstructured data sources we use. This allows further tuning and cost saving within the infrastructure to ensure a perfect visitor experience.
And why do we do all of this? Wimbledon consistently strives to be the best they can be and increase the reach and exposure of their brand. With room for only around 500,000 people on site during The Championships their digital platforms allow them to reach a global audience of around 20 million. By understanding their fans, their customers, in real time and responding to their needs they can deliver the same faultless service through digital solutions delivered on site.