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IBM serves real time interactive data to fans at the Australian Open

Tennis Australia and IBM deliver a digital courtside experience

Melbourne, Australia – WEBWIRE

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Tennis Australia today announced new and expanded data driven experiences that will enhance Australian Open 2015 for fans on site and around the world. IBM SlamTracker has been redesigned with new point-by-point data visualizations, commentary and statistics that include player and ball movement data for the first time ever at the Australian Open. IBM CrowdTracker, new for 2015, will provide fans with live match, venue and social information via and the official Australian Open apps.

Robust data driven fan experiences enhance the tournament around the world and on site

IBM SlamTracker has been redesigned for the 2015 tournament to provide enhanced data visualization. A favorite with the fans, SlamTracker continues to feature Keys to the Match, leveraging historical data to predict key strategies for each player in a match. SlamTracker captures and analyses real time data from matches, revealing insights into player performance that impact the ebb and flow of a match. This year, SlamTracker adds player and ball movement data to its analysis, creating a more robust picture of match and player dynamics. The newly designed interface features point-by-point data visualizations and commentary to make the analysis and insights more accessible to fans around the world.

On site, IBM CrowdTracker, debuting at Australian Open 2015, enhances the fan experience for the 640,000 plus fans that attend the tournament each year. Displaying relevant content on a map of Melbourne Park, CrowdTracker enables fans to better plan their day and will provide an even more comprehensive digital experience for fans virtually.  Using the GPS on their mobile devices, fans can see where they are on site and what’s going on nearby  They can see what are the most popular places to be on the grounds and they can click on individual courts to get the latest scores, stats, player details and insights. CrowdTracker helps fans follow the tournament and on site social buzz, providing fans with the latest Twitter stats, most popular Instagram spots and what is trending on social media.

Unified cloud infrastructure, optimized by analytics ensures a unified reliable experience

IBM CrowdTracker and the Australian Open digital platforms (i.e., web, mobile and apps) are hosted on IBM cloud. The cloud, like the digital platforms it supports, combines analytics, mobile and social technologies to create and manage the most engaging and reliable experience for fans across platforms.  “Last year we had over 17 million unique visitors to the website, and there was a 91% increase in mobile site views,” said Samir Mahir, CIO, Tennis Australia.

Using IBM’s cloud provisioning technology Tennis Australia can scale and manage the computing capacity needed for players, officials, media and fans to get updates, view scores, watch videos, check timetables and engage with the tournament securely across digital platforms.

New IBM technology helps Tennis Australia manage the tournament

In addition to extending the tournament to fans online and on site, IBM technology is the foundation of an operations dashboard that Tennis Australia are piloting at the 2015 tournament. The new prototype solution will provide visual real time updates and insights and can be accessed via iPads and tablets.

“Assessing this type of information visually, on the go and as it happens will enable us to be more responsive, taking advantage of opportunities and improve our operations.  This will be particularly useful when providing new services to our fans, or adjusting our inventory to provide more of a crowd-favorite product,” said Mahir.  

A partnership grounded in innovation

“The Tennis Australia and IBM partnership is essential as we continue to enhance our digital offering for our fans here at the tournament and around the world. Working with IBM has allowed us to make sense of the data for fans in a way that aligns with their needs and interests, whether through the official mobile app or a strategically-placed selfie photo-booth. New experiences like IBM CrowdTracker delivers engaging informative data visualized content as it happens to fans in the format and channel they want,” Mahir added.

“Now in its 22nd year the IBM Tennis Australia partnership has pioneered some of the world’s ground breaking technologies as part of the courtside experience for fans,” said Ian Wong, IBM Consulting Partner, A/NZ Interactive Experience and Mobile. “Organizations across other industries can do the same for their clients by tapping into the combined ecosystem of analytics, mobile and social technologies. We’re proud of the opportunity to deliver this technology innovation to the Australian Open that can help fans and Tennis Australia make the event into a straight-sets winner.”

For more information about IBM visit or join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram at #IBMSports #AusOpen

IBM and Tennis Australia

IBM is providing a range of services for Australian Open 2015, including the following technologies that will take fan engagement to a new level.

  • New in 2015 - IBM CrowdTracker gives fans a birds-eye view of what crowds are doing on site and on line. Available in the Event Guide on the official Aus Open apps, fans can not only see where they are on site but get a view of crowd sizes to find the most popular places to go. Glowing courts indicate there’s a match in progress and fans can click one to see what’s happening on court and on social media. Another map view also shows  popular Instagram spots, Twitter stats and sample photos shared via social media.
  • IBM SlamTracker - statistics and visualization platform using predictive and real time analytics to identify key player performance indicators before the match, live data and social analysis during the match and summary analysis after the match.
  • Australian Open website - IBM designs, develops and hosts the official website on an IBM private cloud. Fans can follow live scores from every court, review highlights of the day’s play, listen to live tournament radio and read blogs.
  • IBM’s integrated end-to-end scoring system - IBM technology drives the live scores that are broadcast around the world, along with other real-time data such as match statistics and the radar speed of serves.
  • Mobile apps - the official Australian Open iPhone app, Android app and mobile website are built and powered by IBM, providing live scores, radio, Twitter feeds, schedules and draws.
  • iPad app - the app allows fans to follow their favorite players and show their support through social media – as well as track how popular they are, thanks to IBM’s Social Sentiment analytics solution.
  • IBM predictive cloud provisioning - IBM technology automatically assigns the computing power required by the Australian Open website based on real-time analytics of the tournament schedule, player popularity, historical data and social media conversations. IBM Watson Foundations (Big Data and analytics) technologies are used to forecast Internet traffic to the Australian Open digital platforms, with IBM Cloud Orchestrator software automatically increasing or decreasing capacity accordingly.
  • IBM Software Defined Storage manages terabytes of data and scales dynamically so that fans can always have information – scores, updates, schedules, videos and social media streams – at their fingertips.

Australian Open Social Leaderboard - updated every few minutes, this website feature tracks the positive and negative sentiment for players on social media. Fans can help their favorite players move up the ranks by ‘liking’ or tweeting favorably about a player.

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