In sports and business, IBM
capabilities are changing the game.

For two weeks every August and September, the United States Tennis Association welcomes hundreds of thousands of spectators to New York City’s Flushing Meadows for the U.S. Open tennis tournament. And millions more around the world visit USOpen.org to follow the action, watching live-streamed tennis matches and getting scores, stats, and news thanks to IBM technologies.

Predictive and real-time analytics

Predictive and real-time analytics drive IBM’s SlamTracker, which identifies key actions players must take to enhance their odds of winning. These same technologies are being used by police departments to prevent crime, retailers to drive sales and financial firms to reduce fraud.

Cloud computing

The infrastructure that supports the U.S. Open’s digital presence is hosted on an IBM SmartCloud. This flexible, scalable environment, managed by IBM analytics, lets the USTA ensure continuous availability of their digital platforms throughout the tournament and year-round.

Mobile technology

The USTA and IBM give fans the ability to experience the matches from anywhere, with any device via a mobile-friendly site and engaging apps for multiple mobile platforms.

Together these innovations make the U.S. Open experience immediate and intimate for fans sitting in the stands or on another continent. Applying IBM analytics, cloud computing and mobile capabilities is a game changer for not only the USTA, but also for any business on a Smarter Planet.

Discover how IBM is changing tennis and businesses worldwide with these capabilities:

Making a smart game smarter with IBM analytics and 8 years of Grand Slam data

SlamTracker is a predictive and real-time analytics tool featuring “Keys to the Match,” match momentum, player information and social sentiment. SlamTracker builds on the scores, stats and player information that IBM captures, using this data to create engaging and compelling tools for digital audiences.

Keys to the Match

The predictive analytics feature of SlamTracker, called “Keys to the Match,” identifies three key actions players can take on the court to enhance their chances of winning.

Before matches, IBM analyzes 41 million data points collected from eight years of Grand Slam play, including head-to-head matches, similar player types and playing surfaces. The resulting keys focus on target serve percentages, rally counts, types of shots and more.

Tracking momentum with analytics

As the match progresses, SlamTracker’s momentum tracking feature captures and visually maps player momentum in real-time, point by point, showing which player is on a roll and what points initiated that momentum. Additionally, SlamTracker tracks Twitter conversations about the players on court, identifying how much positive sentiment each is generating throughout the match in real time.

“Whether on the court or in the boardroom, Big Data is used to keep operations up and running seamlessly—ensuring accurate data is readily available for quick decision-making, and improving productivity.”
—Rick Singer,
IBM’s vice president of sports sponsorship marketing

The Game Changer Interactive Wall

At the U.S. Open, IBM brings SlamTracker stats to life on the Game Changer Interactive Wall.

Every point at the U.S. Open holds within it a world of data. The Game Changer wall lets tennis fans see inside the data behind the match, using the power of IBM Big Data & Analytics. This year’s wall gives fan insights into player strategy, results, performance, and even the social sentiment surrounding each player.

Organizations that embrace analytics are 2.2 times more likely to substantially outperform industry peers.

Tennis matches in the cloud—meeting data demand and accommodating unpredictable traffic spikes

For two weeks every summer, demand for information from U.S. Open fans is at its highest. So much so that during the tournament, the United States Tennis Association’s IT infrastructure must expand 50 times to meet audience demand and deliver a unique and satisfying fan experience. How does the USTA scale its IT infrastructure to accommodate the flood of data demand that comes from millions of fans at once?

Watch how IBM helps the U.S. Open run more efficiently

A private cloud

The USTA needed a cloud solution that would allow it to dynamically allocate resources based on changing IT infrastructure requirements and traffic patterns. And like any other business, the USTA must manage its IT costs, especially over the majority of the year when extra bandwidth isn’t required.

 

So IBM set up a private cloud that can be shared by other organizations with similar demand profiles, namely the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, the U.S. Open golf tournament, the Masters, the Tony Awards and ibm.com. A similar solution could also be implemented by larger companies interested in sharing IT resources internally between divisions, departments or projects.

In 2012, the U.S. Open cloud handled over 325 million page views, with 117 million generated from mobile devices.

Cloud managed by analytics

Monitoring and adjusting the USTA’s workloads has always been a manual task. During this year’s U.S. Open, however, the USTA will be using IBM analytics to predict, allocate and monitor capacity in the Cloud.

Tournament, player and social sentiment data will be analyzed to predict when and how much capacity will be needed during the event so that resources can be allocated as needed, automatically.

By next year, 41% of businesses are projected to have substantially implemented cloud technology into their practices—up from 13 percent in 2011.

Mobile technology—bringing live match action to tennis fans everywhere

The U.S. Open is the most highly attended annual sporting event in the world; still many fans who follow the action won’t even see Arthur Ashe stadium—not in person, anyway. Those who can’t be in New York City can catch all the action, live, from anywhere—along with all the cheering and chatter—on PCs, tablets and smartphones. Mobile technology is one of the key innovations expanding how audiences experience the world—whether it’s tennis or your own business, and the products and services you offer.

Being there from everywhere

Apple OS- and Android-enabled tablet and mobile devices can keep tennis fans anywhere up-to-date on all the on-court action, using the mobile-friendly USOpen.org and IBM-powered U.S. Open apps designed to serve streams of news, match data, player stats, live high-definition video, live radio, Twitter feeds from the U.S. Open and players, and within the apps, a page linking to USTA social media pages.

The interactive iPad experience

In collaboration with the USTA, IBM has developed the U.S. Open iPad app, giving fans watching matches on TV or online an interactive second-screen experience. It also lets fans converse with peers through enhanced social features and provides access to live match video, highlights and interviews, match analysis and more.

In 2012, USOpen.org recorded 117 million page views from mobile devices, a 38% increase over 2011.