This year’s Wimbledon tennis championships are set to be the smartest and most data-intensive ever, thanks to the ongoing partnership with IBM.
The computing giant has unveiled its latest range of smart updates and features as part of its work alongside the tournament’s organizer, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC).
Among this year’s new additions are an improved fan predictions feature, an updated IBM Power Index that can help uncover the next generation of champions, and enhanced match insights with IBM’s Watson AI system.
Innovation at Wimbledon 2022
“We are very excited about this year,” noted AELTC Director of Communications and Marketing, Alexandra Willis, “but naturally, we can’t just think about the past – we need to look forward at the same time… the world is changing at our own pace. around and the ways people consume and continue to change.”
“We have this innovation program that we are very proud to deliver in partnership with IBM and we often talk about the role of innovation in preserving Wimbledon traditions and ensuring they remain relevant for the future. It’s not about putting tradition and innovation in conflict with each other – it’s actually about making them work in partnership.”
As one of the most iconic events not just in tennis, but perhaps in all sports, Wimbledon attracts many different types of fans, with different levels of expertise, therefore providing an entry point through both the Wimbledon.com website and the official mobile app. it’s vital.
Delivering a fan experience that caters to everyone from the casual observer who just watches Wimbledon to die-hard data experts posed a challenge, but one that AELTC and IBM now feel they can conquer.
This year’s championship sees an expansion to the IBM Power Index, the statistics and data platform powered by IBM Watson that powers the website and app to deliver a world of insights to fans.
Along with peer-to-peer analysis of every game in the tournament, its Match Insights tool has been enhanced by “Win Factors”, a more accessible way of explaining to fans exactly why a player is doing well. Using IBM Watson Discovery and IBM Cloud, the tool can collect data such as shape, head-to-head battles, ATP/WTA ratings and, thanks to natural language processing (NLP), even recent media coverage to offer more user-friendly information to fans to help identify watchdogs or any potential upsets.
Fans will also be able to debate and discuss their new icons with the “Have Your Say” fan predictions feature in the official Wimbledon app. This will give fans the chance to predict the outcome of any match and then compare that view to other fans around the world, as well as the AI-powered “Probability of Winning” predictions generated by IBM Watson.
Entering their 33rd year as partners, this year’s championships are more technologically advanced than ever before, thanks in large part to IBM’s “innovation platform,” noted Kevin Farrar, Sports Partnership Leader, IBM UK and Ireland.
“It’s very much about collaborating and co-creating content to bring the beauty and drama of the championships to life for tennis fans around the world,” he said, adding that the “explainable AI” the company is engaging with is critical. .
“It’s very much about collecting massive amounts of data, creating captivating and engaging insights to attract new fans, and ensuring that fans who are already engaged with the platform stay with us.”
“It’s a great showcase for IBM’s capabilities…data is at the heart of it.”