The All England Lawn and Tennis Club (AELTC) and IBM have announced that big data and the cloud will be leveraged in this years Wimbledon tournament to offer fans better and more advanced coverage over the two-week period.

“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 championships to fans in the way that they want to consume it, no matter where they are,” said Mick Desmond, commercial director at AELTC on the 25-year partnership with the IBM.

During 2013 championship, Wimbledon.com had more than 19 million unique visitors and approximately 430 million page views. This year, to engage visitors better, IBM has launched the Wimbledon Social Command Centre to help content across social media channel’s to “show some character or personality.”

As The Drum describe in their article, “powered by IBM SoftLayer cloud technology, the new Command Centre works in real-time, delivering insights into current and evolving social media conversations taking place on and off the court.”

Additionally, the website will be rolled out to mobile, and users will be able to create a personalised feed with news from their choice of players, countries and categories of match, from data updated up to 140,000 times a day.

Another interesting feature that will be added is the Hill vs World initative. The content team will be able to pose questions to people sitting on Henman Hill via the big screen and poll the results in comparison to the responses received from those watching on television and responding via social media channels.

IBM has uploaded its long history of analytics gathered from previous championships to its private cloud…As the Inquirer reports, however, not everything is automatic yet. “48 tennis analysts are stationed around the site to manually capture data from the courts and feed it into the IBM cloud, which then crunches it into the statistics and graphics for the TV coverage.”

The system can now track — through an advanced algorithm — not just the speed of ball, “but where it lands, how far the other player has to go to retrieve it and where on the racket they make contact to hit it back.”

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(Image Credit: Flikr)

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