THE BLOG

IBM Continuing to Serve Up the Ultimate Fan and Player Experience

03/07/2015 15:04 BST | Updated 03/07/2016 10:59 BST

2015 marks the 26th year of IBM's partnership with Wimbledon as the official technology supplier at The Championships. The focus for all sports, and Wimbledon is no exception, is about pushing the technological boundaries, to boost the fan experience from an enjoyment and engagement point of view. Associations, clubs and tournaments are all introducing ambitious new innovations and technology to enhance the fan experience for those fans in the ground or following the action from around the globe.

Working closely with IBM, the AELTC (All England Lawn Tennis Club) have introduced a wide variety of technological innovations to Wimbledon over the years: right at the beginning in 1990, there was the bespoke keypads allowing data and scores to be rapidly collected providing statistics on TV; 1995 saw the launch of the first Wimbledon website; 1997 featured the first Wimbledon online shop; and then in 2002 there was the first mobile solution for Wimbledon before phone became "smart".

The amazing thing about Wimbledon is that for 50 weeks of the year it is a private tennis club which evolves for two weeks of the year into a world-class global sporting event delivering fans one of the best, immersive digital experiences here in the UK and beyond - all efficiently enabled by using cloud technology.

This year, technology is helping improve the fan experience even further. The Wimbledon website has been redesigned for an even more engaging fan experience. The new wimbledon.com is essential to millions of fans worldwide who cannot physically make it to SW19. With 63 million visits to wimbledon.com from around the globe during The Championships 2014, the digital technologies provided in partnership with IBM are an expanding and critical part of the Wimbledon fan experience.

Serving up uninterrupted access to real-time Wimbledon match records and trends allows us to showcase the benefits of delivering insights at speed. For Wimbledon, this capability will allow them to enrich the fan experience by providing a comprehensive and compelling digital platform featuring instant access to video, scores, articles, interviews and breaking tournament news.

The innovations at Wimbledon 2015 include advancements to help the players. This year sees the debut of our new Player Website hosted on the cloud. The website provides players with personalised information about their match schedules, reports and historical insights about other players and real-time updates about the tournament information to enhance player engagement and experience throughout The Championships.

New for 2015 is advanced analytics which will identify breaking match facts in near real-time and, via our cognitive computing solution, provide related insights and historical context. Wimbledon staff will be able to pose further questions in natural language, as if they had the world's best tennis expert on-hand, and share these insights with fans via social media and the Wimbledon digital platforms.

The combination of advanced analytics and cognitive computing will bring unprecedented analysis and awareness to the Wimbledon digital output. For example, Wimbledon staff will be able to quickly surface information and insights about interesting, important or even record-breaking player and match statistics - such as rapidly comparing Andy Murray's 2nd serve percentage from his Championships-winning matches in 2013 to his real-time performance in 2015.

Throughout Wimbledon we will continue to offer insights and behind-the-scenes tours into the technology which helps Wimbledon stay at the top of its game and remain the premier tennis competition in the world and one of Britain's showcase sporting events.