This competition is now closed
This competition is now closed
The winner of the competition is Natalie Venturini
Tennis fans, let the countdown begin. It’s a mere six months until the 126th Wimbledon Championships commence, and we can’t wait. And to kick start the countdown, we’ve decided to let you racquet fanatics in on some insider knowledge about the world’s greatest tennis tournament.
As 500,000 visitors descend upon the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon to drink 200,000 glasses of Pimms and chomp their way through 12,000kg of smoked salmon, one company is very busy making sure that we get our beloved player statistics instantly and accurately.
Whether you’re lucky enough to watch matches live, or whether you’re one of the three quarters of a billion people who watch Wimbledon on TV around the world, you can’t help but be fascinated by how fast players serve; how many of a certain type of shot they play throughout a game; and, critically, how they match up against their opponent. (There are, in fact, 20 statistics relevant to every single point.)
Powering this veritable bible of data is IBM, official IT supplier of Wimbledon Tennis Tournament since 1990.
Among its more eyebrow-raising achievements to date (in my humble opinion) is IBM’s ability to transmit match data to websites and TVs across the world in less time than it takes the umpire to update the scoreboard on the actual court.
That, and the implementation of PointStream, introduced last year. PointStream draws on five years of data on players to identify patterns in how they play. It allows users to figure out how players would statistically match up against one another. PointStream also provides real-time match analysis and allows users to interact with that data, to determine how their favourite players are performing.
Oh, and then there’s SecondSight, a real game-changer in our understanding of how players perform throughout a match. Trialled last year, SecondSight will allow IBM to tell all us tennis fans how far players run throughout a game, and provide stats on their stamina, and how fast they run.
This level of analytics is of course tennis manna for you and I. And it’s gold dust for players and their coaches. But it provides a benefit for IBM that most sporting spectators might not have considered.
For IBM, being able to crunch all this data so efficiently, to such a precise level of detail and so fast, is the perfect showcase for what their technology is capable of.
This kind of highly advanced technology isn’t always that easy to explain in a business context. But when IBM can tell clients how it crunches data, or how it protects the Wimbledon.com website against 40,000 to 80,000 hacker attacks each day, it rather neatly demonstrates to potential clients quite what its products are capable of.
After all, if you can measure and analyse 20 types of point data, then transmit that data across the globe in a matter of seconds, just imagine what kind of analysis IBM could do on a company’s data.
And the next step in game and business tech is always on the minds of the inventive folk at IBM. Currently, they’re investing heavily in cloud and analytics to keep pushing the boundaries of their expertise and capabilities both on and off the court.
IBM strives to bring innovation to the Championships in way that makes the whole experience more fun for all us fans.
And, to go that extra mile for one lucky LondonlovesBusiness.com reader, IBM is offering a pair of Centre Court tickets along with a behind-the-scenes tour of how all this technology works.
Register for LondonlovesBusiness.com by 30 April 2012 and you will be entered into a prize draw to win. Terms and conditions apply.
Terms and conditions
The closing date for entries is Monday 30 April 2012. The prize draw will take place on Friday 4 May 2012 and the winner will be informed by email immediately. The two Centre Court Tickets are available for any match up to and including Saturday 30 June 2012. The winner must confirm which date they would like the tickets for by Monday 14 May 2012. Tickets will be sent by registered post no later than 7 days before the match. Tickets cannot be exchanged for money and the winner is responsible for all travel and accommodation costs associated with using the tickets. Details of the winner will be available upon request.