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Wimbledon and IBM have increased their digital partnership ahead of The Championships, which begin on June 27.

By Ben Rains
June 17, 2016

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Wimbledon and IBM have been partners for more than 25 years. Now, with The Championships just over ten days away, The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) and IBM announced the newest advancements in their relationship.

Their 2016 tech-based endeavors include an Apple TV app, new iOS and Android apps, and a first-ever Cognitive Command Center. The hope for Wimbledon 2016 is to be more available and engaging than ever before for fans.

In 2015 the AELTC and IBM introduced a completely redesigned and corresponding mobile apps. They also introduced IBM Watson-powered real-time breaking news advancements. Enhanced cybersecurity and more social media engagement were also a big part of the 2015 makeover.

This year, the brand new Wimbledon Apple TV app will greatly enhance the at-home fan experience. The app will allow users to listen to three different live radio broadcasts. It also will enable users to sort through real-time scores, videos and photos. Live Wimbledon television studio shows will also be available.

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The new iOS and Android apps will be completely responsive, fitting every screen size. The apps will also be able to create personalized feeds. Specific information for fans who attend The Championships will be sent based on the specific day, as well as their familiarity with the grounds at the AELTC. The personalized information will range from travel information to the best places to eat and drink.

IBM Watson’s Cognitive Command Center will be a brand new feature this year. The Command Center will be powered by IBM’s cognitive and hybrid cloud technology. This center will be Wimbledon’s social media hub. It will gather all of the most relevant news and information from a wide range of events and networks to provide fans the best content. Watson will help the digital team at the AELTC drive the conversation across as many social media platforms as possible. This Cognitive Command Center is very similar to what IBM did at The Masters this year.

Alexandra Willis, head of digital at the AELTC understands that social media plays a vital role in live sporting events. “We’re trying to work with each of the platforms to create tools to celebrate the fact they’re either at Wimbledon or watching mobile,” she said. Social media might not be the main voice, but it’s the first voice.”

IBM will help collect over three million data points from every match throughout the 13-day tournament. The hope this year is to give fans more up-to-date and real-time insights. Wimbledon will also be able to provide fans historical information in real-time. The AELTC want to be the first to break news regarding their tournament, especially about the most well-known players.

The new beautiful and interactive will feature far more live video and content this year. IBM’s secure hybrid cloud infrastructure will help insure that all of these new advancements are extremely safe from the array of cybersecurity threats.

Wimbledon and The European Championship will be taking place at the same time this year. The Men’s Championship and the Euro Final fall on the same day, July 10. Some see this as a problem for Wimbledon, due to the possibility they could be outshined by the Euros. But AELTC is working with UEFA to try to curb any issues and IBM Watson will try to help make sure Wimbledon receives its fair share of coverage.

Sam Seddon, the man in charge of a large portion of IBM’s side of the partnership is taking an innovative approach. “We’re extending it beyond the remit from tennis to Euro 2016 and other major sporting events ... We’re trying to identify the topics around football and try and make links to draw people from the football to a tennis environment.”

IBM and the AELTC are hoping their newest tech-savvy endeavors help to make The Championships, Wimbledon 2016 a huge success.

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