IBM and the All England Lawn Tennis Club unveiled new ways for Wimbledon fans around the world to experience The Championships digitally, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) running on IBM Cloud and hybrid cloud technologies.
Co-created by the All England Club and IBM for Wimbledon.com and the Wimbledon app, the new features join a comprehensive suite of digital fan experiences – including the award-winning1 IBM Power Index with Watson, IBM Match Insights with Watson and Personalised Recommendations and Highlights Reels – all designed to help global audiences stay more informed and engaged with players, matches and the tournament.
New features for 2022 include:
‘Win Factors’ brings enhanced explainability to ‘Match Insights’: Building on the existing Match Insights feature of the Wimbledon app and Wimbledon.com, IBM is providing an additional level of explainability into what factors are being analysed by the AI system to determine match insights and predictions. Win Factors will provide fans with an increased understanding of the elements affecting player performance, such as the IBM Power Index, court surface, ATP/WTA rankings, head-to-head, ratio of games won, net of sets won, recent performance, yearly success, and media punditry.
‘Have Your Say’ with a new interactive fan predictions feature: For the first time, users can register their own predictions for match outcomes on the Wimbledon app and Wimbledon.com, through the Have Your Say feature. They can then compare their prediction with the aggregated predictions of other fans and the AI-powered Likelihood to Win predictions generated by IBM.
The Wimbledon digital features are underpinned by IBM Watson and leverage a hybrid cloud approach – using a combination of on-premises systems, private clouds, and IBM Cloud – enabling increased flexibility and efficiency. IBM Cloud provides the foundation and scalability for these digital experiences. It hosts and processes data from matches that is fed into AI models built using IBM Watson Studio and IBM Watson Discovery to produce insights for fans, commentators and media.
Alexandra Willis, Communications & Marketing Director, The All England Club, said: “Leveraging technology to help fans become more informed, engaged and involved throughout the Wimbledon Fortnight is at the core of our strategy to ensure we are leveraging innovation to keep Wimbledon relevant and deliver outstanding digital experiences for fans, wherever they may be. In partnership with IBM, we are thrilled to bring an even more dynamic and interactive digital experience to fans around the world this year as Wimbledon returns to full capacity. Core to these experiences is our ambition to help fans get closer to Wimbledon by understanding which players to follow and analyse, and inviting them to get involved with new match predictions and insights features, alongside our extensive scoring, news and video content across our channels.”
Kevin Farrar, Sports Partnership Leader, IBM UK & Ireland, said: “The digital fan features on the Wimbledon app and Wimbledon.com, beautifully designed by the IBM iX team and powered by AI and hybrid cloud technologies, are enabling the All England Club to immerse tennis lovers in the magic of The Championship, no matter where they are in the world. Sports fans love to debate and we’re excited to introduce a new tool this year to enable that by allowing people to register their own match predictions and compare them with predictions generated by Match Insights with Watson and those of other fans’.”
As the Official Technology Partner of The Championships for the past 33-years, IBM has developed solutions to modernise and streamline workloads, and delivered innovative digital experiences to engage sports fans around the world through IBM iX, the experience design arm of IBM Consulting. Leveraging the same technologies IBM uses with businesses across industries and around the world, Wimbledon continues to accelerate innovation and improve the digital fan experience.