Digital Experience

The Ball is in Our Court: IBM Helps Wimbledon Define a New Era of Digital Experience

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Wimbledon serves up a new kind of digital experience

Picture this: You’re sitting on your couch next to your 8 year old son/daughter. Roger Federer thrashes out one last hit; it soars over the net and whirls past the head of Rafael Nadal. You feel the rush of excitement. You and your child celebrate. You might as well be amongst the crowd of onlookers at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC). You open your Wimbledon app, and immediately on IBM SlamTracker comes real-time analysis of each shot. You have a deeper understanding of the game than you ever thought possible. Your child grabs their racquet and heads outside to practice.

Since its inception in 1877, Wimbledon has prided itself on being the premier tennis tournament in the world. They set goals to maintain this title and “pursue greatness,” continuously delivering a top-tier experience for audiences and even players. Broadcasted globally to over one billion people and generating hundreds of millions of page views, digital experience is a vital element in reaching this goal. Recently, they’ve raised their game with IBM Digital Experience, creating the most unique and inclusive fan experience out there.


New real-time technology and analytics

This year, new real-time technology and analytics boost its live content abilities and give fans a more compelling video experience. Whereas in the past, editors would need to spend time sorting through thousands of hours of footage from six courts, IBM iX and IBM Research are now able to auto-curate highlights based on cognitive computing techniques such as crowd cheering, player celebration detection as well as match data. This technology allows Wimbledon to tell their story faster than ever, on a larger and clearer scale, so you can easily see Angelique, Simona, Andy and Novak as if you were standing on the sidelines.


IBM Digital Experience behind the scenes

Along with giving you access to nearly instant reviews, IBM DX also improves the behind-the-scenes experience, providing a 360° view of previously unseen practice courts where you can see the professionals warming up, cooling down and getting into the zone in a new way. Watson speech-to-text API is also at work. Watson has the ability to ingest audio from on-demand video and automatically create subtitles easier than ever before, letting you connect with your favorite moments as quickly as possible. This deeper access to content gives the fans a more holistic view of the tournament, allowing them to experience the process from start to finish.

To build upon the Wimbledon pursuit of greatness, delivering a quality product that reflects the brand must extend across channels and touchpoints. The Wimbledon brand is one based in tradition, but that does not mean it is against innovation. The AELTC continues to expand its brand across TV, web, mobile, etc., garnering over a million app downloads, almost 400 million page views, and over 20 million mobile browser visitors. With IBM technology, Wimbledon can effectively utilize all channels so the audience is always a part of the action. With visual representation working alongside relevant content and context powered by IBM insights such as real-time match scores, news, photos and videos, this agile technology allows Wimbledon to express its brand and engage its viewers at all times.


Game. Set. Match. IBM technology keeping Wimbledon at #1

With technology, as fast as a Williams serve, Wimbledon through IBM DX presents an extremely responsive and adaptive design that is able to appeal to the younger, more digitally empowered viewers that will keep their brand alive. Viewers can seamlessly navigate across devices, viewing the same real-time insights on every channel – making Wimbledon stand out from other sporting events and allowing them to continue their reign as the world’s premier tennis tournament. Deeper access to the complete experience powered by innovative IBM technology allows every fan to get involved in their own way – with each viewer as an important player on the court. The Wimbledon and IBM partnership represents the core of what it means to “pursue greatness.” In a world of competition, this duo never fails to serve up an ace.

Vice President, WW Sales Program Lead and SaaS COO, IBM Watson Customer Engagement

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