Hybrid Cloud with AI brings first spectator-less US Open: Page 3 of 4

August 31, 2020 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Hybrid Cloud with AI brings first spectator-less US Open
IBM and USTA bring the US Open tournament to life with virtual sports debates and hyper-relevant match insights using IBM Watson, underpinned by an open hybrid cloud architecture

Open hybrid cloud

The new fan experience solutions pull from a variety of data sets and APIs running on IBM public cloud and on private clouds. To handle the variety of different workloads required, the USTA is using Red Hat OpenShift to enable a seamless experience across multiple public and private clouds. This hybrid cloud architecture gave the USTA's digital operation the flexibility and hyper-scale it needed to quickly embrace remote work while maintaining productivity and ensuring the highest commercial level of data security.[1] A hybrid cloud architecture will enable remote operations to function seamlessly. For example, the USTA statisticians who would normally be courtside, providing stats for each point live, will now be offsite watching each match on low-latency feeds and will still be able to deliver game stats as if they were onsite.
digital experiences


Agile development

On June 17th, just 75 days before the start of match play, the announcement was made to hold the tournament without fans on-site. As the technology partner of the USTA, IBM had less than twelve weeks to conceive, develop, test and deliver new digital experiences for fans. IBM's hybrid cloud architecture with Red Hat OpenShift provided the operational agility and flexibility necessary to quickly develop new experiences powered by IBM Watson's advanced NLP.

"COVID-19 brought disruption to sports as a whole, and the ability of fans to experience live sporting events has been heavily impacted in 2020. At the same time, the pandemic accelerated the need for engaging technologies using AI and underpinned by a scalable hybrid cloud," said Noah Syken, Vice President of Sports & Entertainment Partnerships, IBM. "As the technology partner to the USTA, we transformed our offerings to meet tennis fans where they are this year - experiencing the sport through the US Open digital properties everywhere."

"US Open digital properties will deliver the tournament to millions of fans around the world, and this year, IBM's new digital experiences will bring more data-driven player insight than ever before," said Kirsten Corio, Managing Director, Ticketing, Hospitality and Digital Strategy, USTA. "Our digital properties and interactive fan experiences have led the way in engaging tennis and sports fans, and we know this year that's more important than ever. We've shifted our platforms and experiences to engage with fans everywhere in this new virtual-only environment."

The US Open runs from August 31 through September 13.

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