IBM Serves a Winner with Official French Open Web Site

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ARMONK, NY - 08 Jun 1999: . . . In a tournament which saw legends of the game emerge victorious, the official Web site of the French Open, too, triumphed as a fan favorite yet again. The official site (, produced by IBM with the Fédération Française de Tennis, recorded over 10 million visits during the tournament fortnight, nearly three times the total received by the official site of the 1998 tournament.

The site's peak daily traffic total was 32 million server hits, registered on Friday, June 4, the day of the men's singles semifinals. The traffic reached a peak of 128,000 hits per minute during the match between eventual champion Andre Agassi and Dominick Hrbaty.

'Net enthusiasts were most interested in the point-by-point updates the site offered, as they visited the Scoreboard section most often, followed by News and Photos from the tournament. French fans accounted for 16% of the visits, and European fans together represented 33% of the visits.

There are only two places in the world to purchase merchandise with the exclusive Roland Garros label -- in France and on the official French Open Web site. During the 1999 tournament, fans from 45 countries purchased souvenirs over the Internet. Fans from the United States, France, Brazil, Japan and the United Kingdom placed the most orders, and the broad selection of merchandise also appealed to tennis enthusiasts and shoppers from countries as widespread as Chile, Cyprus and Trinidad & Tobago.

The official site gave fans a truly interactive experience. "Slam Cam", new for this year's site, allowed visitors to direct robotic cameras with their PCs to pan, zoom and take snapshots of the three main courts at Roland Garros. The feature proved very popular, serving 717,169 images to fans seeking a virtual seat at the tournament.

Fans sent over 12,000 "FanCards", electronic postcards, wishing their favorite players well at the tournament. The players could read their FanCards in the IBM Cyber Court, a special section of the Players' Lounge at Roland Garros. Andre Agassi received the most messages, followed by Anna Kournikova, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis and Gustavo Kuerten.

"The success of the official Web site for this year's French Open shows the added value that technology provides to the world of sports," noted Tom Burke, senior sports marketing manager at IBM. "IBM has created an e-business solution which allows Roland Garros to extend its reach and sell its merchandise to a worldwide audience."

In addition to the official tournament Web site, IBM also provided equipment and services to collect results and statistics from all the matches, distributed information to broadcasters and display boards around Roland Garros and provided the IBM Radar Gun to measure the serve speeds on the show courts.

Up Next: The official Web site of the 1999 Wimbledon Tennis Championships (June 21 - July 4) is now live at, produced by IBM for the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

This year's French Open Web site far surpassed the marks established by the official site of the 1998 tournament:

Total hits Total page view Total visits
1999 274 million 90 million 10.9 million
1998 139 million 59 million 3.8 million

Products and Services involved in IBM's French Open solution: Systems integration, Web design and content hosting from IBM Global Services; IBM PCs, ThinkPads, IntelliStations, Aptivas, RS/6000 workstations, RS/6000 SPs using IBM's AIX operating system, Netfinity servers, Lotus Notes, Lotus Domino, Net.Commerce, eNetwork Dispatcher, Tivoli software, IBM SurfAid Analytics, LAN Network Manager and RAMAC Array storage units.

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IBM, ThinkPad, IntelliStation, Aptiva, RS/6000 SP, AIX, Netfinity, Net.Commerce, eNetwork Dispatcher and RAMAC are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.

Lotus, Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino are registered trademarks of Lotus Development Corporation.

Tivoli is a registered trademark of Tivoli Systems Inc.

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