IBM and USTA Serve an Interactive Experience to US Open Tennis Fans

Mobile Apps Bring Fans to Center Court
Analytics Technology to Determine Fans' Social Media Champion

FLUSHING, N.Y. - 29 Aug 2012: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) today introduced new technologies that will immerse fans in the action at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament. During the two-week event, IBM will apply its predictive analytics, cloud computing and mobile technology expertise to connect tennis fans -- no matter where they are -- to what's happening on the courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York.

IBM has created a unique digital environment that provides US Open spectators, athletes and media uninterrupted access to data, facts, stats and content via their tablets, smartphones, PCs and other devices. This enhanced, interactive fan experience uses new technologies that thousands of businesses worldwide are embracing to up their game by uncovering insights from Big Data. 

New for this year's tournament is an iPad app that serves accurate streams of match data, access to live video, highlights and in-depth statistical information. Enhanced social media features enable fans to communicate with other fans around the world. The app also delivers an insider's view of who's gaining the edge on the court and most likely to win -- well before the final score tells the story. It complements iPhone and Android apps that mobile fans can access to connect to US Open action in real-time from around the world.

Off the court, IBM's analysis of the US Open action will extend to the social media arena by determining the Twitterverse's favorite male and female players. IBM is applying advanced analytics software to millions of public tweets generated throughout the tournament to assess which players are the social fans' favorites. The IBM Social Sentiment Index will analyze buzz around the US Open, providing a better understanding of fan sentiment. The analysis will also illustrate how analytics technology can identify important, and otherwise non-obvious trends, to help businesses make better decisions about how to connect with customers.

On site at the Tennis Center, IBM has built the IBM Game Changer Interactive Wall, which extends many of the and mobile app features, providing greater insight into the US Open, both on- and off-court using the power of analytics. Fans can interact with the wall to access live scores, match analysis and data visualizations from the IBM Social Sentiment Index analysis, as well as information about local weather and its effect on player nutrition and hydration, and more.

“We continue to look for new ways to  innovate and strengthen our leadership position in the sports industry, and one of the ways we will do this is by delivering content and information about the US Open to fans in the way that they want to consume it, no matter where they are,” said Phil Green, Senior Director of Advanced Media, USTA. “Working with IBM is a winning partnership because it allows us to create a unique digital environment that delivers stats, video and information to our fans whenever they want it on all devices.”

Delivering insights into what's happening on the courts at the US Open requires an ability to capture and analyze each serve, volley and point. The same kind of analytics technologies that IBM is using to deliver insights to tennis fans, players, coaches, media and sports event organizers are being used to monitor babies in prenatal wards, help police departments prevent crime and enable financial services firms to improve customer service.    

“Big Data is impacting so many aspects of sporting events, that it's no longer a stretch to say that it is changing the way fans watch and enjoy sports,” said Rick Singer, vice president, Sports Sponsorship Marketing for IBM.  “Whether  on the court or in the board room, Big Data is being leveraged to achieve similar goals, such as keeping operations up and running seamlessly, having accurate data readily available for quick decision making, and improving productivity.”

Analytics and Cloud Computing Power

IBM, in its 22nd year of partnering with the USTA, is enhancing the digital capabilities of to give users a front-row access to the action on the court.

One of the most insightful features of is IBM's SlamTracker. Based on predictive analytics technology, it leverages historical and real-time match data to deliver a better understanding of what's going on during a match. SlamTracker's 'Momentum' feature maps player momentum throughout a match in real-time, visualizing key turning points such as aces and winning shots, allowing fans to interact with the data to learn more about why a player is winning. In addition, SlamTracker's 'Keys to the Match'  feature analyzes seven years of  historical Grand Slam data to determine the top three things a player must do in order to perform well in a specific match. 

During the two-week tournament, transforms into a massive, data hungry environment that demands unhindered access to accurate and reliable content to serve the demands of millions of tennis fans. Each year, IBM helps the USTA expand its infrastructure to meet these demands and then scale back to support regular operations following the tournament. This elasticity is made possible by the IBM SmartCloud, which enables the rapid creation and dynamic allocation of resources while offering transparent and real-time access by a multitude of devices, such as smartphones, tablets and televisions.  This cloud environment -- powered by IBM servers and storage in three geographically dispersed locations virtualized as one --  ensures continuous availability and scalability required to support such a high profile event. The benefits include reduced costs and reliable operations. 

For more information about how IBM is helping the US Open tap into Big Data to transform the fan experience, visit


 Editors' Note: Photos are available via the Associated Press Photo Network and on the Internet at Feature Photo Service's link through

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

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At the US Open, two young tennis fans explore the IBM Game Changer Interactive Wall at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, which shows how Big Data and analytics are more than just child's play. The wall provides greater insight into the US Open, both on- and off-court, using the power of analytics to provide live scores, match analysis and data visualizations (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

Technical teams in the US operations room manage mission critical aspects of the tournament, including live scoring data simultaneously served to the Web, journalists, and mobile apps (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

The US Open scoring center delivers match data and in-depth statistical information from the court, via the cloud, to the fans (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

IBM and United States Tennis Association (USTA) serves up a new iPad app for the 2012 US Open that delivers live video, real-time stats, information and insights to tennis fans -- no matter where they are. Connecting fans to the action on the court, while delivering insight into what's happening throughout the matches, is made possible by a unique digital experience powered by IBM analytics, cloud computing and mobile technologies (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

For 22 years, IBM and the USTA have created an interactive digital environment that connects tennis fans to action at the US Open and delivers insight into what's happening on the courts (courtesy: IBM)

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