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Wimbledon kicks off with improved fan engagement technology

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The 2014 Wimbledon tennis championship has kicked off today with a number of technological innovations which are set to improve the way "digital fans" (spectators with mobile devices) engage with the action.

The improvements are being introduced by computer giant IBM, the official tech partner of the tournament since 1990.

One of the products fans can utilise is Slamtracker, a real-time statistics and data visualisation platform which offers predictive analytics into any given match.

SlamTracker will not only offer real-time data and statistics, but by using three performance indicators most likely to affect a player's game it will also aim to predict results of each match. SlamTracker's "Keys to the Match" feature, built on IBM's predictive analytics technology (SPSS), will mine more than eight years of Grand Slam Tennis data (~41 million data points) to determine patterns and styles for players when they win.

Another aspect of a more digitally-savvy Wimbledon is the introduction of a "social command centre" for the tournament's organiser, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC).

Designed to give AELTC insight into social media and improve its digital presence, the centre will boost fan experience on digital platforms by helping the Wimbledon content team understand and respond to fans' needs in real-time.

Using the command centre, AELTC's team will be able to get insight into current and evolving social media conversations taking place on and off the court across a wide range of platforms - such as Twitter, Facebook and SportsYapper.

To increase its social media reach, AELTC has made the SlamTracker and the official Wimbledon app available to all mobile platforms.

Mick Desmond, commercial director at AELTC, said social media was playing an increasingly important role in the planning of major sports events such as Wimbledon.

"We continue to look for new ways to innovate and strengthen our leadership position in the sports industry," he said. "One of the ways we will do this is by delivering content and information about The Championships to fans in the way that they want to consume it, no matter where they are.

"Working with IBM is a winning partnership because it allows us to create a unique digital environment that delivers stats, video and information to our fans whenever they want it on all devices and is the next best thing to being there."

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The 2014 Wimbledon tennis championship has kicked off today with a number of technological innovations which are set to improve the way "digital fans" (spectators with mobile devices) engage with the action.
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