Wimbledon Championships Serves up an Ace Performance


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IBM Smarter Analytics capabilities delivered fascinating new analysis and insights direct to viewers via mobile, TV and web.

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Wimbledon Championships Serves up an Ace Performance

  1. 1. Media & EntertainmentLet’s Build A Smarter Planet The annual Grand Slam tennis tournament held in leafy Wimbledon, south-west London is known simply as The Championships. It is one of the world’s highest-profile sporting events, and a cultural institution since its establishment in 1877. The Official Technology Supplier to the AELTC for the past 24 years, IBM is becoming a more and more visible part of the Wimbledon experience as the tournament reaches out to a growing global audience via multiple digital channels. Each year, IBM provides exciting new capabilities in support of the AELTC’s goal of delivering “a world-class experience for the digital user that replicates the unforgettable nature of a day at Wimbledon”, putting its reputation on the line in a high-pressure environment with the world looking on. In 2013, IBM again showcased its ability to design and deliver a highly complex data-centric solution that delivers tangible benefits and ROI to a high-profile global business for which high quality and innovation are key brand elements. The rise of mobile and social As the AELTC works to extend the geographic and demographic appeal of The Championships, the rapid growth in the use of web, mobile and social media technologies offers a golden opportunity to provide more engaging content and to build stronger relationships with a truly global audience. This audience has a growing appetite for more information, delivered more rapidly and through an ever-growing set of platforms. Mick Desmond, Commercial Director at the AELTC, comments: “We want to deepen our relationship with tennis fans through digital channels, and expand the reach and exposure of our tournament into new geographies and demographics. The shift in the digital landscape has been enormous over the past four or five years, with more and more people now accessing our website on mobile devices – so we need to innovate and ensure that we give fans the information they want, via the channel they prefer.” A key objective for the AELTC is to increase the time people spend watching and talking about the tournament, so as to enhance its profile and reach. The organization is achieving this by feeding their hunger for information and rich media, which depends on harnessing vast quantities of data in real time. Wimbledon Championships serves up an ace performance Using analytics, mobile and social technologies to engage and retain a growing global fan base Smart is... Building closer relationships with fans by putting real-time, media-rich information at their fingertips The Championships, Wimbledon is one of the most prestigious and popular sporting events in the world. For its organizer, the All England Club, the ongoing challenge is to keep expanding the tournament’s appeal by enhancing the experience for tennis fans. Today, this means delivering rich, engaging content in real time to a huge global audience – and building stronger relationships with fans through social media. For the past 24 years, IBM has been a key partner for the AELTC, providing technologies to constantly improve the capture and dissemination of vital match information to the global audience. In 2013, IBM analytics capabilities delivered fascinating new analysis and insights direct to viewers via mobile, TV and web, combining detailed match data with sentiment analysis for the first time. WIMBLEDON.COM TICKET HOLDERS’ GUIDE THE CHAMPIONSHIPS, WIMBLEDON MONDAY 24 TH JUNE — SUNDAY 7 TH JULY 2013
  2. 2. Media & EntertainmentLet’s Build A Smarter Planet Managing big data at Wimbledon IBM describes ‘big data’ in terms of the four ‘Vs’ – volume, variety, velocity and veracity – and Wimbledon certainly features all of them. To develop compelling content for its audience, the AELTC needs to discover, gather, process, integrate, understand, enrich and disseminate these volumes of data. Variety stems from the huge number of sources of both structured and unstructured data, including: new on-court player- and ball-tracking radar technologies, current and historical match data, expert human observations, data from fans attending the tournament, match and performance data from other tournaments, and fan-contributed information on social media. Data changes at high velocity, with sub-second updates on a huge number of variables for every point of every match, and with the need to analyze hundreds of tweets about the tournament every second. Finally, tennis fans are highly knowledgeable, so veracity is crucial if the content is to maintain its credibility. Only a few hundred thousand people can attend The Championships in person each year. To ensure that an estimated 800-million plus people around the globe can enjoy the event, IBM gathers, processes and disseminates real-time data on every point of every match on Wimbledon’s 19 courts. In 2013, that meant 101,778 tennis points across 660 matches, corresponding to 852,752 data points. IBM employs and trains a team of 48 statisticians – all of them high-quality tennis players – to provide contextual data that is used to enrich the machine-collected data such as the speed of serve. All of this match data is combined with historical performance data and live data from the web and social networks, and fed into an advanced set of analytical tools that provide real-time insight to sports analysts, TV presenters and the global audience. Business benefits • Enhances the experience for fans, deepening their relationship with the tournament through rich interactive media. • Provides detailed real-time analysis of match play and in-game trends, feeding global audience’s appetite for information. • Helps the AELTC understand what its fans are talking about and builds new communities of interest through social media. Smarter Entertainment Enhancing the Wimbledon experience through social media Instrumented Gathers large volumes of data in real time from on-court electronic sensors, on-court scorers, off-court analysts and global users of social media services. Interconnected Integrates and enriches multiple sources of structured and unstructured data, then distributes information to analytical tools, web sites, mobile apps and global TV broadcasters. Intelligent Real-time analysis of match data reveals winning patterns of play; cloud infrastructure uses analytics to predict demand and automatically adjust resources to match.
  3. 3. Media & EntertainmentLet’s Build A Smarter Planet Smarter Analytics At Wimbledon, a key element in creating compelling content is layering analysis on top of both live and historic match information. IBM Smarter Analytics technology is the beating heart of the analytics capabilities at Wimbledon, powering applications such as IBM SlamTracker™ – a rich and interactive tool that acts as a single source of information about all matches, providing intuitive performance dashboards that allow fans to gain deep insights into the match data. For 2013, IBM refreshed the design of SlamTracker and began pulling in live sentiment analysis from Twitter to show the ebb and flow of support for each player. Before each match, IBM analyzes historical matches between the players (over eight years of Grand Slam data corresponding to 41 million data points) to identify the ‘Keys to the Match’, a set of key performance indicators showing what each player needs to do in order to be successful against any specific opponent. During the course of the match, each player is then measured against his or her keys in a series of real-time updates, giving fans a deeper level of insight as the match unfolds. In a first for 2013, IBM also combined data on player and ball movement with point-outcome data, enriched by court-side observers, using it to generate intuitive 3D graphics for broadcasters. Only a handful of global businesses have exactly the same requirements as the AELTC, yet millions face the same general challenge of needing to capture, process and analyze huge sets of structured and unstructured data in real time. IBM’s analytics solutions at The Championships demonstrate how businesses can generate valuable insights from fast-moving data to better understand their business, their products and solutions, their customers and their competitors. The mobile experience As the use of smartphones and tablets continues to grow rapidly, IBM is helping The Championships to keep its mobile content fresh and relevant. Mobile users accounted for 20 percent of the 19.7 million unique visitors to wimbledon.com during the 2013 tournament, and yet were responsible for a massive 55 percent of the 433 million total page views (up from 40 percent in 2012). For the AELTC, it is crucial to provide the same high-quality brand experience regardless of the channel, so IBM worked closely with the AELTC to tailor the design and content to each type of device based on both the technical characteristics – for example, screen size and resolution – and the typical usage pattern. For example, most smartphone usage is to check headline scores and results when on the move, while tablet users can browse more unique interactive content and delve deeper into the statistics and insights behind a match. The new iPad app for 2013 was designed to supplement and enrich the live action on television, bringing fresh insights and unique content to fans watching at home. “We want to increase the reach and exposure of The Championships, taking it to new demographics and geographies. Understanding the social impact of the tournament as a whole is vitally important, because it enables us to understand what fans really think and to start to build a two-way relationship with them. That in turn will help us to focus and enhance our digital platforms so as to strengthen the tournament in the years to come.” — Mick Desmond, Commercial Director, AELTC Solution components Software • IBM® DB2® • IBM InfoSphere® • IBM SPSS® • IBM Tivoli® • IBM WebSphere® • IBM Proventia® • IBM Rational® • IBM QRadar® Hardware • IBM SmartCloud • IBM System x® • IBM Power Systems™ • IBM System Storage® Services • IBM Global Business Services® • IBM Global Technology Services®
  4. 4. Media & EntertainmentLet’s Build A Smarter Planet Alexandra Willis, Editorial Content Manager at the AELTC explains, “The idea behind the new iPad app for 2013 was to make it the next best thing to being at Wimbledon. For those who couldn’t get to the tournament, we wanted to recreate the beauty and tradition of what The Championships looks and sounds like, as well as creating an immersive second-screen experience that would be relevant to someone watching the live broadcast. With IBM’s help, we have been able to target content to different platforms and make it appropriate to the people who use it.” In 2013, The Championships saw almost two million downloads of IBM-developed Wimbledon smartphone and iPad apps, all optimized to deliver the best possible experience, while the mobile variant of wimbledon.com is designed to deliver the optimal balance between fast performance and a rich user experience. Naturally, IBM’s involvement goes far beyond the design of mobile and web content, to encompass the management, security and analytics around the service provision for this very visible, high-profile channel. The lesson for other businesses is that mobile is continuing to grow rapidly in importance, and must be treated as a channel in its own right. For business-to-consumer organizations, mobile is increasingly the channel of choice for customer interactions, particular in geographies (for example, Africa) and demographics (the 14-25 age group) where it may be the only telecommunication channel available. To ensure a rich, seamless brand experience, it is vital to understand both the opportunities and the limitations of the mobile channel. IBM has deep, proven experience in building reliable, responsive and secure mobile capabilities that deepen the engagement with customers. “The idea behind the new iPad app for 2013 was to make it the next best thing to being at Wimbledon. For those who couldn’t get to the tournament, we wanted to recreate the beauty and tradition of what The Championships looks and sounds like, as well as creating an immersive second-screen experience that would be relevant to someone watching the live broadcast. With IBM’s help, we have been able to target content to different platforms and make it appropriate to the people who use it.” — Alexandra Willis, Editorial Content Manager, AELTC Figure 1: A screenshot of the Wimbledon iPad app
  5. 5. Media & EntertainmentLet’s Build A Smarter Planet A very social event Mobile technology increasingly means social technology – many of the heaviest users of social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter interact predominantly via smartphones and tablets rather than conventional computers. For The Championships, the rapid growth of social media represents an unprecedented opportunity to gauge public opinion in real time and to engage with the audience in a direct and interactive way. It also provides an increasing ‘buzz’ of free publicity and helps extend the tournament’s reach to potential new fans that would not otherwise be exposed to it. To help the AELTC understand what is being said, where, and by whom, IBM technology sifts enormous volumes of social media content to identify and analyze relevant content. In 2013, IBM analyzed 6.6 million Wimbledon-related tweets, a 100 percent increase on 2012. At the height of the action during the Men’s singles final, 400 tweets per second were analyzed to reveal insights into changing patterns of sentiment among Wimbledon’s global audience. This data-driven approach based on semantic analysis enabled IBM to create intuitive visualizations of the social media landscape, providing dynamic heatmaps and trend graphs in real time to broadcasters and the wider public across digital channels. The insights also helped Wimbledon’s digital team to tune and tailor their own social channels and content on wimbledon.com “We want to increase the reach and exposure of The Championships, taking it to new demographics and geographies. Understanding the social impact of the tournament as a whole is vitally important, because it enables us to learn about what fans really think and to start to build a two-way relationship with them,” says Mick Desmond. “That in turn will help us to focus and enhance our digital platforms so as to strengthen the tournament in the years to come.” The take-home for other businesses is the need to recognize – and have a strategy to address – the growing importance of the social channel. Some 65 percent of people on Twitter use it to learn more about brands, products and services, and their numbers are swelling rapidly, with one million new accounts added every day in 2012. Social is a golden opportunity to engage in a direct yet mutually convenient and cost-effective way with customers, to understand what they want and what they think about products and solutions, and to create customer advocates who can drive new sales. Scaling up with cloud All of IBM’s innovation across analytics, mobile and social at The Championships depends on the fast and reliable capture, processing and dissemination of enormous amounts of data. The combination of a dynamic, unpredictable sporting event and a huge global audience across every time zone underlines the need for a reliable, high-performance data-processing and data-serving infrastructure. For 50 weeks of the year, the AELTC infrastructure supports a level of activity fitting for a mid-size business. However for the two weeks of the tournament itself, the same infrastructure must support With key input from IBM, in 2013 The Championships set records and broke new ground in a number of areas: • 19.7 million unique users of Wimbledon digital platforms. • 433 million page views serving up a total of 155 TB of data – equivalent to over 35 years’ worth of CD-quality audio recording. • 55 percent of views on wimbledon.com came from mobile devices, up from 40 percent in 2012. • Mobile users represented 20 percent of the total user base yet drove 55 percent of page views. • Fans downloaded 1,954,862 IBM-developed Wimbledon apps for smartphones and tablets. • Content incorporated fan sentiment analysis for the first time, strengthening the emotional connection between the tournament and its audience. • More detailed and comprehensive analysis of current and past data enabled the creation of more interesting and engaging content.
  6. 6. © Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM United Kingdom Limited PO Box 41 North Harbour Portsmouth Hampshire PO6 3AU Produced in the United Kingdom October 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Let’s Build A Smarter Planet, Smarter Planet, DB2, Global Business Services, Global Technology Services, InfoSphere, Power Systems, Proventia, QRadar, Rational, SlamTracker, SPSS, System Storage, System x, Tivoli and WebSphere are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at: www.ibm.com/legal/ copytrade.shtml. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. astronomical levels of interest while delivering score updates globally within half a second of each point played on court. This presents a conundrum: how to ensure sufficient capacity to deal with the peaks without over-spending during the troughs. Equally, as systems are increasingly opened up to unknown numbers of users via the web and on mobile devices, how can the organization predict changing patterns of demand and ensure that the right resources are available? IBM’s answer is SmartCloud: a fully virtualized, secure and highly flexible set of computing resources that can seamlessly and automatically rise and fall in line with changing patterns of demand. Rather than invest in permanent capacity, IBM uses its SmartCloud to access only the resources it actually needs at any given time. The IBM SmartCloud infrastructure that runs wimbledon.com requires just four minutes to dynamically provision new services in response to emerging demands, and IBM is constantly enhancing its ability to match resources to peaks in demand. In 2013, this included the analysis of data from multiple sources – including social media sentiment data – to anticipate peaks in demand and pre-provision new computing resources accordingly. This intelligent, dynamic infrastructure helps the AELTC grow rapidly without a corresponding increase in costs. Since 2008, the organization has seen the number of web users rise by 45 percent, but the cost per user has fallen by 35 percent. Likewise, page views are up by 42 percent, yet the price per page view is down by 34 percent. All businesses today face the challenge of achieving more with restricted IT budgets. Driven in part by the growth of mobile and social, trends now come and go faster. This means that businesses need to sharpen their responses accordingly if they are to capitalize on opportunities and ward off competitive threats from smaller and more nimble competitors. IBM SmartCloud provides the optimal combination of rapid response to new business requirements, resilience, performance, security, flexibility and cost-efficiency. For more information To learn more about how IBM and its customers are building a Smarter Planet, contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit us at ibm.com/smarterplanet GBC03119-GBEN-01 Please Recycle