ARMONK – IBM and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) today announced a five-year renewal of their longstanding, 30-year partnership. From the launch of USOpen.org in 1995 to the introduction of the mobile app in 2009, and last year’s debut of the IBM Power Index with Watson, IBM and the USTA have collaborated for more than three decades, today delivering a world-class platform that provides unparalleled, first-of-its-kind fan experiences through hybrid cloud and AI technologies. This year, they will continue to expand and enhance the US Open digital offerings with new features added to the US Open app and USOpen.com ahead of the 2022 tournament.
Building on the popular IBM Match Insights with Watson feature — which analyzes millions of data points and over 100 million sources over the course of the tournament — ‘Win Factors’ brings an additional level of transparency into what is being analyzed by the AI models.. Win Factors is designed to provide fans with an increased understanding of the elements affecting player performance, such as the court surface, rankings, head-to-head records, ratio of games won, net of sets won, recent performance, yearly success, and media commentary. For the first time at the US Open, users can also register their own predictions for match outcomes on the US Open app and USOpen.com, through the ‘Have Your Say’ function. They can then compare their prediction with the aggregated predictions of other fans and the AI-powered Likelihood to Win generated by IBM.
“Our partnership with the USTA provides a unique opportunity to showcase the full breadth of IBM capabilities, against the backdrop of one of the most exciting and iconic sporting events in the world. As we look ahead, the possibilities to continually expand and enhance the US Open digital fan experience are endless,” said Jonathan Adashek, Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing at IBM. “Together we have created a platform of innovation by activating the same hybrid cloud, AI technology and IBM Consulting services that we use with our clients across all industries to bring the US Open digital properties to life for millions of tennis fans around the world.”
“IBM’s expertise and digital leadership has brought our fans closer to the tournament for the past three decades,” said Kirsten Corio, USTA Chief Commercial Officer. “We are excited to continue to leverage IBM’s innovative tech to serve up the tournament in exciting new ways and deepen global fan engagement with the US Open.”
Win Factors and Have your Say join a comprehensive suite of digital fan features — including the IBM Power Index, Match Insights, and Fantasy Tennis game — on the newly redesigned US Open digital platforms.
The USTA and IBM iX, the experience design arm of IBM Consulting, worked to design and develop an updated website and app designed to enable fans around the world, and onsite at the US Open, to access the tournament, their favorite content, engaging insights and utilities faster and more intuitively than before. The US Open Digital Platforms include many new features. Fans can mark their favorite players to curate their digital experience based on their selections. The Scores, Schedule, Draws, and Players sections have been completely redesigned to deliver more relevant and contextual content and insights. The US Open mobile app introduces a new toggled state called “At the Open” which is specifically catered to the on-site attendee. “At the Open” is designed to provide fans with everything they need to optimize their visit, including ticket access management, mobile food ordering, grounds maps and curated content outlining each day’s events.
The US Open’s digital experiences run on a combination of on-premises, public, and private clouds, and IBM has designed a data architecture that helps ensure the right data — pulling from a variety of data sets and APIs — gets in the right hands at the right time. IBM leverages a hybrid cloud approach to collect, integrate, and distribute data and applications running on Red Hat OpenShift across multiple clouds to seamlessly handle the variety of different workloads required. This year’s innovative solutions were built on IBM Cloud, and containerized using Red Hat OpenShift. The flexibility of the cloud allows for rapid innovation each year, as the IBM developers building these solutions are able to write code for new features once, and deploy it in any environment.