Wimbledon to keep fans happy with IBM's social media analytics

Wimbledon to keep fans happy with IBM's social media analytics

IBM acquired SoftLayer Technologies to accelerate the build-out of its public Cloud infrastructure last year

Wimbledon is using an IBM SoftLayer Cloud-powered hub to understand and respond to fans in real time, providing marketing insights for the South London tennis club and helping to provide a high level of customer service.

In-depth analysis of social media will provide the club with understanding of who, what and where fans and players are talking around the tournament. Crucially, the analytics will identify key influencers around Wimbledon conversations through algorithms from IBM's customer experience laboratory, part of IBM's $6 billion annual research and development investment.

During last year's season, the tennis club's website had 19 million unique visitors and 430 million page views. To meet these demands IBM has traditionally, for 25 years to date, supported scaling up infrastructure for this spike.

To meet the championships' website availability demands, IBM uses automated cloud monitoring service, SmartCloud Orchestrator to optimise the platform hosting. Powered by IBM servers and with storage across three different locations, but virtualised as one, IBM can analyse historic web use, player popularity, the schedule of play and social media.

A spokesperson for IBM said: "All this input enables IBM to ensure that just the right amount of resources is provisioned to ensure a perfect visitor experience whilst not 'over provisioning' so we don't waste energy or cost at the same time.

"The same kind of technology is used by organisations such as retailers and travel companies who have to accommodate major swings in seasonal demand."

IBM has also worked with the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) to create a better mobile experience for fans, who will be able to personalise their news feed on tablets and smartphones.

IBM's SlamTracker has also been redesigned for this year including a new interface and fan-focused "Keys to the Match" predictive analytics to forecast performance indicators that might affect players' matches.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) saw web traffic spike by nearly a third during last year's RBS Six Nations tournament, as match viewers flocked to use its IBM analytics-based TryTracker system.

"The [Wimbledon] Championships allow us to demonstrate how these same cloud, analytics, mobile and social capabilities are being used by IBM clients globally. For example, to improve transport networks and improve paediatric care," said Sam Seddon, Wimbledon Client & Program Executive for IBM.

"By using Wimbledon-focused social media feeds to better understand fans, customers, in real time, we are enabling AELTC to better manage their digital presence and understand how its brand is perceived."

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