Re-shaping the Wimbledon digital experience with cognitive

By Jenni Klinger

Beginning their digital journey with the addition of TV graphics and statistical insights for Centre Court in 1990, Wimbledon have evolved their digital experience to include personalized interactions, in-depth tennis insights and a cognitive assistant named “ask Fred” — among other features — in 2017.

In the pursuit of greatness, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) continuously enhance the at-home, courtside, new, and existing fans’ experiences during Wimbledon. Their digital platforms deliver high-value content in the moments that matter, creating the most engaging place to experience The Championship whilst competing with global media organisations for fan attention.

"We are excited for this year’s developments, yet again improving and developing our digital strategy for fans to make the most of their experience year-on-year. In an increasingly competitive sporting landscape, IBM’s technology innovations are critical to continuing our journey toward a great digital experience..." said Alexandra Willis, Head of Communications, Content & Digital at the AELTC.

Through the mobile and tablet apps, official website and Apple TV, Wimbledon will continue to deliver news and experiences fans cannot find through other media outlets. For 2017, fans can expect to see these new digital experiences:

  • The "My Wimbledon Story" app feature has been improved with a new Watson-enabled bot, “ask Fred.” Ask Fred will help fans make the most of their day on-site by providing personalised information prior to their arrival and whilst courtside. By using Watson’s natural language capabilities, users can ask Fred questions like what they should bring, what the game schedule is and where the different facilities are.
  • A new cognitive video editing process will allow for auto-curated match highlights based on factors like player celebration, audience reaction and match data. With 18 courts on site and an average of three matches per day per court, video footage quickly adds up. This new video production process will get videos to Wimbledon digital platforms and the press quicker than ever before.
  • The "What Makes Great" solution will provide fans an analysis of 44 years of sports coverage to find out what it takes to pursue greatness on the Wimbledon courts. IBM cognitive solutions will analyse unstructured data including 6,349 press articles, 53,713,514 tennis data points from 1990 to present day, Wimbledon’s own yearbooks (2007-2016), 22 years of web content including digital news articles, and recent social media commentary. By comparing across quantitative and qualitative information, IBM will help Wimbledon inform a debate that has not yet been possible.
  • IBM SlamTracker with Cognitive Keys to the Match is a cross-platform application that provides real-time scores, player stats and game insights for every match in progress. New features for 2017 include insights like pace-of-play, pressure situation performance, serve placement spread, and real-time updates to player’s style using Watson APIs.
  • Watson Speech to Text API will be used to quickly make videos accessible to all. Watson has been taught tennis terms and history to quickly analyse audio from interviews to create subtitles the editorial team can review. That review then flows back to the feedback loop so Watson can further learn and create even more accurate subtitles, thus reducing editorial time and improving the viewer experience for everyone.
  • 360-degree video of practice courts will give fans from anywhere a unique view of the Championships.

By crafting improved digital experiences with IBM’s AI Platform for Business, Wimbledon is enticing a younger demographic to experience The Championship whilst satisfying existing fans.

Wimbledon fans will have an unprecedented level of analysis, insight and engagement as the match unfolds, particularly with mobile devices in mind. Real-time data will be integrated from multiple sources including courtside statisticians, chair umpires, radar guns, ball position, player location and even Twitter for social sentiment.

Wimbledon will use real-time data and video to provide a new way for existing fans to interact with the Championship and a new perspective of tennis for new fans, turning the tennis fan into a Wimbledon fan.

Learn more about the technology Wimbledon uses in their pursuit of greatness. And explore what it can do for your business.