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20 year partnership of IBM and the Australian Open gives tennis winning advantage

New predictive cloud provisioning to power website and IBM Social Sentiment Index to reveal fans' social media champions

Melbourne, Australia - 15 Jan 2013: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that new technologies will enhance the Australian Open experience for fans, players and coaches.  Marking 20 years of technology innovation at the Australian Open, predictive cloud provisioning technology will be used in production at the Australian Open 2013, the first Grand Slam® to deploy the solution. IBM will also combine sophisticated analytics software and natural language processing to gauge positive, negative and neutral opinions shared across hundreds of thousands of social media posts on Twitter, Facebook, news sites, blogs and videos. The technology will help the tournament measure and understand fans’ views on players throughout the event.

20 years of IBM's technology innovation at the Australian Open

IBM’s real-time data analytics software will examine the tournament schedule of play, tennis player popularity, historical data logs and volume of social media conversations and predict the data demands from fans viewing the Australian Open website. Based on the demand forecast, IBM’s predictive cloud provisioning technology will automatically assign the appropriate level of computing power required ahead of time from the IBM private cloud solution.

IBM's analysis of the Australian Open 2013 action will extend from the courts to the social media arena, looking at the topics that get fans talking online and which players become the social media champions. IBM will also provide the technology for the Social Leaderboard on the Australian Open website that will track the most popular players and the percentage of positive and negative social sentiment from fans. With every fan’s tweet about a player or 'like' of something written about a player on the site, fans will help their favourite players move up the Social Leaderboard ranks. 

“We are committed to giving all our tennis fans an incredibly connected experience to the Australian Open event,” said Samir Mahir, CIO, Tennis Australia.  “With analytics we can help predict when demand is expected to spike, such as when a crowd favourite goes on court to compete. Predicting the australianopen.com demand from fans ahead of time and automatically provisioning capacity, means we have a highly efficient solution that ensures our interactive tournament website is available for all our fans even during the peaks of our busiest periods.”

"The ultimate aim of our technology solutions for the Australian Open is to deepen our fans’ engagement and enjoyment of the event. Analytics continues to change how Grand Slam tennis is viewed and played. Consistent with the worldwide trend, we are seeing a huge increase in the volume of fan conversation via social media. Social media insight has an increasingly important role in how Tennis Australia and other organisations make decisions and engage  consumers,” said Samir Mahir.

As the official Technology Partner since 1993, IBM has worked with Tennis Australia to help deliver the most compelling Australian Open experience year-on-year. “During the last two decades, we have seen technology evolve from the launch of the tournament’s first website in 1996 to innovative cloud computing and big data solutions that bring fans closer to the action and provide deep insight for players, coaches and organisers,” said Elizabeth O’Brien, Sponsorship Strategy Lead, IBM. “Bringing business technology into the world of professional sport has helped shape Grand Slam tennis into an engaging spectator sport for millions of fans around the globe.”

-ENDS-

For more information about IBM visit www.ibm.com/australianopen


IBM and Tennis Australia - 20 years of technology innovation at the Australian Open

Since IBM became Tennis Australia’s technology partner in 1993, the partnership has delivered innovative technology solutions, enhancing the Australian Open experience for players, coaches and fans around the world. Key IBM solutions at the 2013 tournament include:

australianopen.com

In partnership with Tennis Australia, IBM designs, develops and hosts the Australian Open website on the IBM private cloud solution. The highly interactive website connects fans around the world to the tournament – giving them a virtual seat courtside. Some of the features include: fans can listen to live tournament radio, review highlights of the day’s play, read blogs and follow real-time scores from every court. During the 2012 tournament, the site attracted over 14.8 million unique users, up 47% on the previous year.

IBM predictive cloud provisioning technology

IBM’s predictive cloud provisioning technology automatically assigns the computing power required to support the Australian Open website based on real-time data analytics of the tournament schedule of play, tennis player popularity, historical data logs and volume of social media conversations. The predictive cloud provisioning leverages IBM InfoSphere® Streams and IBM InfoSphere® BigInsights along with IBM Tivoli® Provisioning Manager.

Social media

New to the Australian Open for 2013, the IBM Social Sentiment Index will analyse hundreds of thousands of public social media posts generated throughout the tournament to determine the sentiment for the players.

Smart phone solutions

The Official Australian Open iPhone and Android applications and mobile website are built and powered by IBM, providing real-time scores, radio, Twitter feeds about the Australian Open as well as completed matches, schedules and draws.

IBM SlamTracker

IBM SlamTracker is a real-time stats and visualisation platform that leverages IBM's predictive data analytics technology. Before each match, IBM analyses historical matches between the players (for first-time matches, players with similar styles are analysed). This analysis identifies key performance indicators—what players need to do to succeed in a match—known as 'Keys to the Match'. During the match, each player's performance is measured against their keys and updated in real time on australianopen.com, providing fans with a deeper level of insight as the match unfolds.

Scoring system

Vital scoring information is displayed via IBM’s integrated end-to-end scoring system, which makes live scores available around Melbourne Park and the world as they happen. 

Speed serve and radar

One of the first technologies to be introduced as part of IBM’s technology partnership, courtside radar captures exact serve speeds, which are immediately transmitted to the IBM scoring database and displayed courtside. 

Chair Umpire Solution (CHUMP) and match statistics

Each chair umpire uses a mobile device to directly capture each point, game and set from the court. Courtside statisticians record vital information and the information is then sent in real time to the IBM Scoring System.

AO Vision

New in 2012, this service provides all press commentary suites, as well as some production areas access to five streams of video at one time, view live press conferences as well as player information, schedules and real-time scores for all matches in progress.

Contact(s) information

Katie Burford
IBM External Relations
+61-450-333-600
kburford@au1.ibm.com

Sandra McMullan
IBM External Relations
+61-416-049-409
smullan@au1.ibm.com

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