Speaking at the launch of the All England Lawn Tennis Club’s digital strategy yesterday (18 June), the Club said it is looking to “place content in the context” of what’s happening at the event by using the data it captures on the side of the court to build a narrative on its digital and social platforms.
“Wimbledon sits on a huge amount of information,” said Sam Seddon, Wimbledon programme executive for IBM, which is working with the tournament on its data and digital strategy.
“We need to be able to access that information and put more context around content.”
As part of a long-term plan, this year the Club will put a live stream of scores through an IBM system that will put data “at their fingertips” and allow staff to release key metrics and facts onto its digital and social channels “within seconds” according to Seddon.
‘Exploiting trends’ with real-time content
The Club says it is looking to “exploit trends” around Wimbledon through its social command centre, which tracks the topics fans and influencers are talking about to let the Club respond in real-time.
“We’re looking at who is most influential around the tournament and how much people are engaging with them,” Sam said. “It’s possible to tailor and tune how you interact with those individuals.”
It is also looking to target content around time of day to maximise overnight traffic by reaching fans in America and Asia.
Wimbledon.com: ‘Mouthpiece to the world’
The Club has also redesigned wimbledon.com to become “responsive and adaptive” to every platform and has advanced its mobile apps to include an offline mode and an “immersive experience” of a video of the grounds shot by a drone.
It has also produced a personalised website for players to provide them with match schedules and insights.
While she believes mobile is “increasingly important” and drives engagement with fans, Alexandra Willis, head of digital and content at the AELTC, said: “In a world of mobile devices and all sorts of apps, Wimbledon.com is still our mouthpiece to the world.”
She added that 63 million people visited the site during the Championships last year alone, while 80% of users also access wimbledon.com through a desktop.
“We wanted to take our brand forward, and we’re looking at Wimbledon.com as the primary platform to push further into what technology allows us,” she added.
“We’re trying to drive awareness,” she said, adding that despite Wimbledon’s global appeal, its Facebook page has only 3 million followers.
“If we get people to spend a few extra minute son the website or platform or go from a social platform to the site, that’s success,” she added.
Maintaining Wimbledon tradition
While the AELTC plans to “surprise and innovate” in the virtual world, commercial and media director Mick Desmond also highlighted the importance of keeping content “on brand”.
“Everything is about the brand, heritage and tradition, and the lack of commercialisation on the site is something we protect,” he said.
While he said there is an expectation from fans to constantly develop, he added: “This is about how you fuse quality data with brand experience to create something immersive that people want to engage with.”