The US Open is in our court: IBM helps the US Open define a new era of Digital Experience



The IBM Digital Experience at the US Open

Picture this: You’re sitting on your couch next to your 8 year old son/daughter. Roger Federer thrashes out one last hit; it soars over the net and whirls past the head of Rafael Nadal. You feel the rush of excitement. You and your child celebrate. You might as well be among the crowd of onlookers at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. You open your US Open app, and immediately see real-time analysis of each shot on the IBM SlamTracker. You have a deeper understanding of the game than you ever thought possible. Your child grabs their racquet and heads outside to practice.

Since its inception in 1881, the US Open has prided itself on being one of the oldest championship tournaments in the world. They set goals to maintain this title and “pursue greatness,” continuously delivering a top-tier experience for audiences and players. Broadcasted globally to over 1 billion people and generating hundreds of millions of page views, digital experience is a vital element in reaching this goal. Recently, they’ve raised their game with IBM Digital Experience (DX), creating the most unique and inclusive fan experience out there.


AI technology to tell the story faster

This year, new real-time technology and analytics boost its live content abilities and give fans a more compelling video experience. In the past, editors would spend time sorting through thousands of hours of footage from 6 courts. Now, IBM iX and IBM Research auto-curate highlights based on AI computing techniques such as crowd cheering, player celebration detection, and match data. This technology allows the US Open to tell their story faster than ever, on a larger and clearer scale, so you can easily see Angelique, Simona, Andy and Novak as if you were standing on the sidelines.


Behind the scenes action

Along with giving you access to nearly instant reviews, IBM DX also improves the behind-the-scenes experience, providing a 360° view of previously unseen practice courts where you can see the professionals warming up, cooling down and getting into the zone in a new way. Watson speech-to-text API is also at work. Watson has the ability to ingest audio from on-demand video and automatically create subtitles easier than ever before, letting you connect with your favorite moments as quickly as possible. This deeper access to content gives the fans a more holistic view of the tournament, allowing them to experience the process from start to finish.

To build on the US Open’s pursuit of greatness, delivering a quality product that reflects the brand must extend across channels and touch points. The US Open brand is one based in tradition, but that does not mean it is against innovation. The USTA continues to expand its brand across TV, web, mobile, etc., garnering over a million app downloads, almost 400 million page views, and over 20 million mobile browser visitors. With IBM technology, the US Open can effectively use all channels so the audience is always a part of the action. With visual representation working alongside relevant content and context powered by IBM insights such as real-time match scores, news, photos and videos, this agile technology allows the US Open to express its brand and engage its viewers at all times.


Technology as fast as a Williams serve

With technology as fast as a Williams serve, the US Open through IBM DX presents an extremely responsive and adaptive design that is able to appeal to younger, more digitally empowered viewers that will keep their brand alive. Viewers can seamlessly navigate across devices, viewing the same real-time insights on every channel – making the US Open stand out from other sporting events, and allowing them to continue their reign as the world’s premier tennis tournament. Deeper access to the complete experience powered by innovative IBM technology allows every fan to get involved in their own way – with each viewer as an important player on the court. The US Open and IBM partnership represents the core of what it means to “pursue greatness.” In a world of competition, this duo never fails to serve up an ace.


Click here to read more about the IBM US Open digital experience, written by Nicole Jeter-West, Managing Director, Ticketing & Digital Strategy, for the US Tennis Association.




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August 30, 2017 at 07:09PM