Fact Sheet: The 1998 U.S. Open - An IBM e-business Solution

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Ever since the Internet began to capture the world&#039;s attention & imagination, IBM has been a leader in helping organizations create & implement practical business applications for this global communications network. </span></p><p><span>Since 1995, IBM & the United States Tennis Association (USTA) have partnered to develop solutions that harness the power, immediacy - 31 Aug 1998: business.

The IBM Tournament Information System

At the heart of IBM's involvement at the U.S. Open is the tournament information system that is responsible for all match results and statistics. This system has evolved over the last six years to meet the ever-changing demands of national and international broadcasters, media, players, the public and the USTA.

The IBM tournament information system is a private network that serves a broad range of users. Real-time match information is collected by the courtside data entry teams, who record the statistical details of each point played on the main show courts. This data, which includes the serve speeds for each player, is transmitted directly to the IBM information system for distribution.

The IBM tournament information system is used in many different ways; for example, tournament referees use the scheduling module to put matches on court in the most efficient manner. This software automatically alerts the officials about any potential scheduling conflicts.

IBM Inquiry System

For tournament organizers, media, players and the public, IBM's 61 touch-screen Inquiry Systems located in public areas, media work rooms, player lounges and tournament offices at the National Tennis Center provide easy access to updated match scores, results and statistics as well as player biographies and historical tournament information.

Additionally, television broadcasters and international media use the IBM Inquiry System to research player information and tournament histories and to check live scores and match statistics. The IBM TV interfaces feed the scores and detailed match statistics directly into the broadcasters' character generators for real-time graphic displays on air.

Tennis fans also can track the fortunes of a favorite player, find the order of play or print an up-to-date player profile by accessing the public side of the information system on the official U.S. Open Web site (www.usopen.org) or via the IBM Inquiry Systems on-site at the National Tennis Center.

IBM Match Facts

At the completion of every match, IBM systems generate printed match statistic reports. These reports are then made available to the media. Players and coaches use match statistics to compare their performance against future opponents or other fellow competitors. They can analyze key indicators such as the number of forehand winners, double faults, points played at net and serve percentages.

The Official U.S. Open Web Site ( http://www.usopen.org)

As is the case with any e-business, delivering information to users around the world via the Internet is crucial. The most public part of the U.S. Open's e-business solutions is the official tournament Web site (www.usopen.org). The official site of the 1997 U.S. Open received more than 60 million "hits" and over 7 million page views during the two weeks of the tournament - an increase of 250 percent over 1996.

This year, the number of people expected to visit the site is set to soar again. No other tournament related site on the Web can match the performance and comprehensive information offered by the official Web site. That is because the scores are being fed to the official site directly from the U.S. Open's central results system -- the same system that feeds information to television commentators, TV graphics, radio broadcasters and journalists.

Text-based information is only the beginning of the features available. The NetCam Web camera provides a digital window through which site visitors can see what is happening on the show courts at the National Tennis Center.

More than just a source of information and entertainment, www.usopen.org also offers e-commerce. Last year for the first time, anyone with access to the Web could purchase items from a selection of U.S. Open official merchandise without having to visit the shop at the National Tennis Center. Thanks to an electronic store, powered by IBM Net.Commerce and DB2 server software technology for secure shopping, fans all over the world bought thousands of items such as official U.S. Open polo shirts and posters. This year's even wider selection of merchandise includes USTA and official U.S. Open clothing, books and videos.

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