IBM & Wimbledon: AI Is Changing the Game for Sports

IBM and the All England Lawn Tennis Club have announced further innovations for this year's tournament
IBM and The All England Lawn Tennis Club have unveiled AI features for Wimbledon that will provide real-time analysis and expanded, personalised content

Artificial intelligence is rapidly transforming the sports world, from training regimens and player performance analysis to fan engagement strategies. As AI integration accelerates across the industry, and with research finding that 55% of global tennis fans think AI will have a positive impact on sports, one of the most iconic sporting events is leveraging cutting-edge technology to further transform the digital experience.

The world's oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament, Wimbledon is embracing cutting-edge AI to transform the digital fan experience. Building on their long-standing partnership, IBM and The All England Lawn Tennis Club have now unveiled new AI-powered features for the 2024 tournament that will provide real-time analysis, personalised content and expanded coverage like never before.

IBM and Wimbledon: Catch Me Up to enhance the fan experience

At the centre of these innovations is the new ‘Catch Me Up’ feature, which leverages IBM's advanced language AI to generate dynamic player stories and match insights. Before matches, fans will get AI-crafted previews with performance analysis and win probability predictions for their favourite players. After matches conclude, detailed summaries, highlights and key stats will automatically be produced.

This AI-generated content will be highly personalised based on each fan's preferences and location. It allows Wimbledon to deliver timely, curated coverage at an unprecedented scale across both singles tournaments happening simultaneously. ‘Catch Me Up’ stories will even include daily roundups recapping all the action.

The new ‘Catch Me Up’ feature leverages IBM's advanced language AI to generate dynamic player stories and match insights

IBM's generative AI is also powering major expansions for Wimbledon's digital match centre. For the first time, the revamped IBM Slamtracker will provide AI-generated previews and reviews for wheelchair and other undercovered events. This helps achieve Wimbledon's goal of better serving its global audience with diverse content interests.

Under the hood is IBM's watsonx AI platform and its Granite large language model (LLM), which was trained on Wimbledon's distinctive editorial voice.

“We are committed to offering fans the highest quality Wimbledon experience, whether it’s in person or digitally,” comments Chris Clements, Digital Products Lead at the All England Club. “Generative AI allows us to scale our ability to provide different types of content for fans wherever they are in the world in a way that’s personalised for them. This year’s new Catch Me Up feature will make it easier for fans to follow the key storylines as they emerge throughout The Championships.”

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Jonathan Adashek, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for IBM, adds: “The new Catch Me Up feature is an exciting example of how we can use the power of generative AI to deliver compelling, insight-driven storytelling at scale.

"For 35 years, IBM and Wimbledon have been co-creating solutions that make fans feel more connected to all the on-court action, and our new research confirms they are beginning to understand the positive impact technologies such as generative AI can have on their digital experiences. IBM is also putting these same technologies from our AI and data platform watsonx into the hands of clients worldwide, across nearly every sector, to address their unique business needs.”

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