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IBM and USTA Captivate Tennis Fans with Immersive Second Screen Experience

Analytics, Cloud, Mobile and Social Computing Technologies Deliver US Open to Fans’ Fingertips

FLUSHING, N.Y. - 27 Aug 2013: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and United States Tennis Association (USTA) today announced they are serving analytics, cloud computing, mobile and social technologies to 2013 US Open tennis fans, bringing them closer to the action on the courts while delivering real-time insights into match data that go beyond basic scores and stats.

           

Whether they’re watching courtside, on television, online or on the run, US Open fans will become their own virtual sports analyst and gain a greater appreciation for the game of tennis through an immersive, interactive and uninterrupted digital experience powered by sophisticated IBM software, services and systems.

IBM and the USTA have collaborated for over 20 years on a technology partnership that enables fans – no matter where they are located – to follow and examine every serve, volley and point at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York. The same predictive analytics, cloud, mobile and social technologies that IBM provides to clients in every industry worldwide will help the USTA offer an engaging and informative experience to millions US Open followers and spectators throughout the two-week tournament.

The innovative digital US Open environment provides fans, players, broadcasters and media with access to a range of Big Data insights streaming from the courts, including stats, facts, videos, live scoring, and historical and real-time analysis of tennis data served to tablets, smartphones, PCs and other devices.

“As the US Open continues to grow and reach tennis enthusiasts around the world, our fans are clamoring for access to more and more content, as well as deeper insights that allow them to join social conversations about the tournament,” said Nicole Jeter West, director of Digital Strategy and Partnership, USTA. “Having a partner like IBM for over 20 years enables us to have great confidence the USOpen.org technology infrastructure and to feel like we have the best resources in place to meet our fans' demands.”

New for the 2013 US Open, is a redesigned IBM SlamTracker analytics dashboard that delivers real-time insights into match data and statistics that goes beyond basic scoreboard watching and helps fans understand how and why a player prevails in a particular match. SlamTracker's “Keys to the Match” feature is built on IBM predictive analytics software and analyzes more than 41 million data points from 8 years of Grand Slam tennis data to identify three performance indicators that will affect the dynamics of a match for each player. SlamTracker's 'Momentum' feature illustrates break advantages during a match in real-time and visualizes key turning points, including aces and winning shots, allowing fans to interact with the data and learn why a player is winning or losing.

The enhanced SlamTracker software also offers a new embedded social sentiment feed that will enable fans to follow and contrast how the volume and tone of fan sentiment on Twitter correlates and shifts as player performance changes on the court.

Predictive Analytics and Cloud Combine to Power USOpen.org

For most of the year, the USTA’s digital USOpen.org infrastructure runs like a small business, but during the two-week US Open tournament it rapidly transforms into data and performance hungry environment that requires constant and uninterrupted access to content ready to serve the unpredictable demands of millions of tennis fans.

Previously, IBM manually monitored and adjusted computing workloads for the USTA. For 2013, IBM upgraded the infrastructure that supports USOpen.org with a combination of predictive analytics and cloud computing technologies to predict, monitor, and continuously adjust the capacity and computing resources that support the US Open’s digital needs. This versatile cloud computing environment – powered by IBM Power servers and cloud technologies located in three geographically dispersed data centers that are virtualized as one – provides continuous availability and scalability the US Open needs. Not only does the analytics and cloud integration help the USTA more efficiently accommodate and respond to unpredictable spikes in demand for content and data during the tournament, it also provide a more effective means to manage IT costs over the course of the year when the USTA does not require as much infrastructure support.

IBM and the USTA also are delivering a captivating second screen experience to fans watching from the stands on television or online via a robust, mobile friendly USOpen.org that enables fans to easily navigate and access content, data & stats from a variety of devices. The US Open mobile fan experience features numerous enhancements from IBM Interactive, the company’s digital design agency, including a refreshed, engaging iPad app that offers integrated social features, instant access to live video and in-depth match analysis and statistics. IBM also boosted and improved apps it has developed for the USTA for the iPhone and Android platforms, with a scrolling timeline that keeps fans informed of new, trending social topics, match photos and more.

On site at the Tennis Center, IBM is bringing back the IBM Game Changer Interactive Wall for a second consecutive year. The Game Changer wall extends many the USOpen.org and mobile app features and provides greater insight into the US Open action using the power of analytics. Tennis fans of all ages can interact with the wall and access live match scores, in-depth analysis and data visualizations.

“Sports fans demand ubiquitous and uninterrupted real-time access to scores, stats and insights from Big Data, much like clients and C-suite execs in most industries,” said Rick Singer, vice president, Sports Sponsorship Marketing for IBM.  “The explosion of mobile and social technologies has radically changed the ways companies and people access data, giving them many choices over how, when and where they tap into information. From watching a game on TV, catching video highlights on a smartphone to monitoring online sales via an iPad, uninhibited access to Big Data has become an essential element of business and life.”

For more information about how IBM is helping the US Open deliver an immersive second screen experience to fans, visit www.ibm.com/sports

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Editors' Note: Photos are available via the Associated Press Photo Network and on the Internet at Feature Photo Service's link through http://www.newscom.com

Journalists and bloggers can download video and images about IBM and the US Open by clicking here.

Contact(s) information

Christopher Andrews
IBM Media Relations
1 (914) 499-4045
candrews@us.ibm.com

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For more than 20 years, IBM and the USTA have used advanced technologies to create an interactive digital environment, connecting fans to the US Open tournament by bringing them closer to the action on the courts through real-time insights into scores stats and match data.

IBM and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) are delivering an interactive digital experience to US Open fans through in-depth analysis and insights served courtside or on-the-go via iPad, iPhone and Android devices in Flushing Meadows, NY. Mobile US Open fans can be their own virtual sports analysts with millions of tennis data points delivered to their fingertips by IBM analytics, cloud computing, mobile and social technologies. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

Every game, set and match is monitored in the US Open.org operations room at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, where technicians manage numerous mission critical aspects of the tournament's digital experience, including simultaneously serving data and content to fans and journalists via the Web and mobile apps. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

IBM and United States Tennis Association (USTA) are serving an enhanced interactive US Open iPad app featuring live video, real-time scoring, and integrated social features, as well as instant access to in-depth match analysis and statistics. IBM also boosted and improved apps developed for iPhone and Android devices, with a scrolling timeline that keeps fans informed of new, trending social topics, match photos and more. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

A young fan explores the IBM Game Changer Interactive Wall at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York. The dynamic wall illustrates how the power of Big Data analytics and data visualization can bring stats, scores and match analysis to life for fans of all ages. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

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