Articles, Blog

Wimbledon – game, data set and match

August 12, 2019


[MUSIC PLAYING] First serve percentages,
unforced errors, backhand winners. Tennis is a data nerd’s dream. Wimbledon may be the oldest
tennis tournament in the world. And with its strict
all-white dress code and strawberries and cream,
it’s steeped in tradition. But it isn’t just
about heritage. Somewhere beneath the
courts, in a dark bunker, the All England club
has partnered with IBM, and is using artificial
intelligence and data analytics to inform the media, the players
and their coaching staff, and the fans. Wide in. Forehand in. Body in. Backhand in. It starts with data collection. County level tennis pros monitor
every game at the championships closely, even those
on the outside courts. [INAUDIBLE] Huge data sets are
then processed here. We, last year, captured
4.8 million data points. And then, in this
system, you can also have all of the leader boards
for all of the tournaments. And then there’s data
that goes back to 1877. So if you want to ask us a
query about any data point at Wimbledon its entire history,
we can give you an answer. Artificial intelligence
is used in a messenger app within Facebook Messenger. This is designed to bring
personalised contents to new audiences. The AI platform is also helping
Wimbledon’s content team become more efficient. Crowd noise and players
fist pumps are analysed, so video highlight packages are
now produced just five minutes after a game is finished. It’s all part of
Wimbledon’s move into media. This is the first
year its new broadcast unit has taken over from the
BBC as the host broadcast operation. One of the things that’s driven
us to do things differently this year is, with Wimbledon
being more like a broadcast organisation as well
as a sporting event, a lot of their outside
courts now are available for streaming, and they can be
provided to a broadcaster who might want to pick up feed for
the Bulgarian player playing on court five. If you’re part of a community
in a What’s App group or you’re a part of a community
in Facebook Messenger, then you can be having those
conversations informed by this, whilst watching the tennis,
whilst eating a lunch, in the multi-dimensional
lives that we live. Is there a danger that
people are almost distracted? All of this stuff
is going on, they’re going to miss the action. They’re going to miss
what’s– you know, what they come to the
sport in the first place. We live in a very fast
paced environment, and there’s a huge
amount of sport going on. There’s some football tournament
apparently going on in Russia, we’ve got Wimbledon. We’ve got to try and do is
provide the highest quality content they’ve got and they can
provide to where the fans are, so they have the opportunity
to grab their attention. The level of data that fans can
now access is deeper than ever. But Wimbledon reckons it
has something for everyone, and that it can increase
engagement and bring the business up to date while
staying true to its traditions. For some people, it
is the ins and outs and the statistics of the game. For others, it’s just that
it happens once a year, and it’s very British and
you get to have strawberries and Pimm’s. Even though people are
maybe focusing less in their 100% attention,
what we hope we’re doing is sort of adding
to it by providing some of these different
offerings to it to make their experience richer. Our ambition is to keep
Wimbledon relevant, and celebrating our traditions,
but really using innovation to do that and changing
the perceptions of what people naturally think of. Wimbledon says it’s providing
this service, not just for the data
obsessed sport geeks, but for the casual fan, as well. It might seem a little bit
sad that people can’t just enjoy watching a game of
tennis from a single screen, giving it their entire
attention anymore, but this is increasingly
the reality in an age where consumers
have so much choice. [MUSIC PLAYING]

1 Comment

  • Reply David Song July 11, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    Looks like a tennis video game

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