While fans may only see the excitement happening on the courts and in the stands, IBM is working behind the scenes to capture and process match data and statistics in an effort to create real-time content that tells a story of what’s happening at the grounds.
Inside the bunker, a system provides access to the press and commentators to view different courts, current and historical statistics and information on tournament leaders in real time.
A “social command centre” also allows Wimbledon to look at what topics or players are trending on the likes of Twitter in order to build news articles or social media posts around breaking stories.
Sam Seddon, IBM client executive for Wimbledon said: “It’s about analysing what are the trending topics of conversation, where those are happening and if they can use that to tune and tailor their own editorial content.”
This involves an “influencer” section, which shows how fans are engaging with particular users who are talking about Wimbledon, such as One Direction’s Niall Horan or Novak Djokovic, according to Seddon.
“It’s quite a granular way of understanding who is being influential about the topic,” he said. “If Wimbledon wanted to tell everyone in the world that the queue was full, they’d go to Niall who likes his tennis and has been down here – one tweet from him has a huge impact.”
He added that the team sees “peaks and troughs” when players come and go from the tournament. Rafael Nadal, who was knocked out last week, has a loyal following according to Seddon.
“When he leaves a tournament quite often those followers go with him and the content plan has to adapt,” he said.
He added that Wimbledon is increasingly using social media including Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram to engage fans “whenever and wherever they want to experience the brand”.
“The idea is to put the brand into areas where people are already having conversations but to do it with a lighter tone which is what’s expected in those channels,” he said.
“It’s also about providing quality content with links to draw people back into their own channels. It’s a very integrated social and digital strategy working as one.”