USOpen.org Debuts Next Generation of Online Tennis Entertainment
IBM (NYSE: IBM) will bring millions of fans worldwide closer to their favorite tennis stars at the 127th annual US Open. The new my USOpen.org and SlamTracker let spectators follow their favorite players as the live action unfolds anytime, anywhere.
Point by point, IBM is delivering a host of new interactive capabilities to enhance the 2007 tournament experience in person, via the Web and through television broadcasts. The United States Tennis Association (USTA), together with IBM, provides fans an exclusive virtual seat at the world’s single largest annually attended sporting event.
“USOpen.org is the destination for exclusive real-time tournament information, and this year, we’ve enhanced the fans’ experience dramatically. You have a personalized view into not just a standalone match but the complete tournament as the action unfolds,” said Rick Singer, Director Worldwide Sponsorship Marketing, IBM. “From the umpire’s chair to online video to your television, IBM technology is integral in delivering the US Open’s premiere sports entertainment, immersing fans in how a match is played and how every point is played out.”
“Our 16-year partnership with IBM has allowed the USTA to continually deliver a unique and cutting-edge experience to all tennis fans,” said Jeffrey Volk, Director, Advanced Media, USTA. “USOpen.org has evolved into the premiere destination for innovative web experiences, including significant multi-media content, personalized features and real-time solutions.”
The 2007 USOpen.org Web site, which has been designed and developed with the USTA and hosted by IBM, is more engaging and more personalized for tennis fans than ever before. A new home page feature, my USOpen.org, allows fans to easily track up to five of their favorite players and view automatic and customized updates on the players’ statistics, related news and interviews, match results and scores. Fans can also tag their favorite stories with social bookmarks, such as Digg and del.icio.us. No registration is required; a fan simply chooses his or her players of choice, and the site remembers the selections when he or she returns.
Making this year’s US Open more personalized
The USOpen.org site will also offer a more personalized tennis championship experience through the new SlamTracker application. Fans can now interact with the live draw, follow their tracked players in the context of the draw, and see current matches in progress and schedule updates integrated with the draw in a real-time scoring environment. A new interactive venue map also provides a view into what’s happening on all active match courts. With a simple roll of the mouse over locations on the map, fans can see who is playing on a given court and the online scoreboard changes to reflect the chosen match.
USOpen.org TV is also more prominent and robust than ever; five daily broadband shows, in addition to press conferences, which bring fans closer to the action than ever before.
Bringing Live Scores, Serve Speed and Line Challenges to Tournament Officials, Journalists and Fans
As the Official Information Technology Provider, IBM again will provide hardware, software and services for match information and scores to be distributed throughout the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, on USOpen.org and to television viewers around the world.
IBM’s real-time scoring system collects courtside data from each umpire’s chair and then stores and distributes the statistics to broadcast TV, USOpen.org, the intranet used by more than 1,500 international journalists at the event, closed circuit TV, electronic displays, and automated voice applications for players and spectators. IBM’s courtside radar gun not only displays the speed of serve courtside but it also sends the serve speed to the scoring database. On the broadcast courts, IBM statisticians enter winners, unforced errors, and net approaches in the IBM DB2 9 “Viper” central scoring database.
The scoring system ensures spectators both at the stadium and online, can view details on the current schedule, matches in progress, and results for every match by court. IBM WebSphere software, leveraging a flexible Service Oriented Architecture, streamlines the timely and accurate distribution of more than 200 million score updates to fans around the world.
The advent of official line challenges in 2006 also proved an opportunity to showcase IBM hardware. When a player challenges a line call, instant replay cameras and display software from Hawkeye, powered by IBM servers, confirm whether the ball is in or out.
IBM to provide Match Analysis DVD to Players
Expanding on last year’s positive reaction, IBM will provide men’s and women’s players on Arthur Ashe, Louis Armstrong, Grandstand, courts 10 & 13 (the five broadcast courts) with a DVD following their match. The DVD enables these players and their coaches to view and analyze their match from any angle they want to view it, their strengths, weaknesses, etc. IBM automatically indexes the video with the match stats. Players can choose to view the video of just their aces, or forehand winners, or backhand unforced errors, or even go back to specific critical points in the match like watching the breakpoints. IBM integrates the data collected from multiple sources and formats.
IBM to Help US Open Players and Fans Evaluate High Pressure Performance
Also new to the US Open in 2007, IBM Pressure Player Stat is a comparison statistic that can be used by a player and their fans, to evaluate how they perform in a high pressure situation. The five composite statistics measuring a player’s performance under pressure are: Best Service Under Pressure, Best Pressure Returner, Best Overall Pressure Player, Power Server, and Most Complete Player.
These statistics are calculated by using a weighted scale to determine a player’s performance ranking on scenarios that have directly influenced the outcome of play.
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