IBM Wins at Wimbledon 2022 with AI and Cloud Deal

Tech titan and the All England Lawn Tennis Club have unveiled new ways for Wimbledon fans to watch The Championships digitally, powered by AI running on IBM Cloud and hybrid cloud technologies.

The tennis puns are served up as IBM has continued its Wimbledon 2022 tech love-in.

IBM and the All England Lawn Tennis Club are courting more attention and have unveiled new ways for Wimbledon fans to watch The Championships digitally, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) running on IBM Cloud and hybrid cloud technologies.

Co-created by the All England Club and IBM for Wimbledon.com and the Wimbledon app, the new features join a suite of digital fan solutions – including the IBM Power Index with Watson, IBM Match Insights with Watson and Personalised Recommendations and Highlights Reels.

View of the 2022 sign on The Hill ahead of The Championships 2022. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day -12 Wednesday 15/06/2022. Credit: AELTC/Thomas Lovelock.
View of the 2022 sign on The Hill ahead of The Championships 2022

You cannot be serious? Well, they are  – and the two famous names have been a happy double for a while. IBM has been the club’s official tech partner for the past 33 years.

Alexandra Willis, Communications & Marketing Director, The All England Club, comments: “Core to these experiences is our ambition to help fans get closer to Wimbledon by understanding which players to follow and analyse, and inviting them to get involved with new match predictions and insights features, alongside our extensive scoring, news and video content across our channels.”

Kevin Farrar, Sports Partnership Leader, IBM UK & Ireland, adds: “Sports fans love to debate and we’re excited to introduce a new tool this year to enable that by allowing people to register their own match predictions and compare them with predictions generated by Match Insights with Watson and those of other fans.”

The days of simply watching the tennis tournament – and enjoying the exorbitantly-priced strawberries & cream, or praying to the weather gods that it doesn’t rain – are long gone it seems.

The new features for 2022 include ‘Win Factors’ and ‘Have Your Say’.

‘Win Factors’ brings more explainability to ‘Match Insights’. This means factors are being analysed by the AI system and the idea is for fans to get an increased understanding of the elements affecting player performance, such as the IBM Power Index, court surface, ATP/WTA rankings, head-to-head, ratio of games won, net of sets won, recent performance, yearly success and media punditry. (Boris Becker won’t be around for a while for the latter.)

‘Have Your Say’ is a new interactive fan predictions feature. For the first time, users can register their own predictions for match outcomes on the Wimbledon app and Wimbledon.com, through this feature. They can then compare their prediction with the aggregated predictions of other fans and the AI-powered ‘Likelihood to Win’ predictions generated by IBM.

  • It’s not quite a break from tennis puns as servers are involved – but read the story ‘IBM Focuses on Fraud Fight in z16 Mainframe Launch’ here

The Wimbledon digital features are underpinned by IBM Watson and use a hybrid cloud approach – using a combination of on-premises systems, private clouds and IBM Cloud.

The Championships will run from 27 June – 10 July 2022.

Away from the court action (well, for most of it), IBM has been busy.

In April, stopping fraud was on the agenda as IBM unleashed its z16 mainframe with an integrated on-chip AI accelerator.

In March, HSBC said it will work with IBM as it seeks to explore applications for quantum computing in financial services.

Meanwhile, and in unhappier news, Fortune points out that elderly employees at IBM were recently compared to dinosaurs by their managers, according to court documents.

The documents are part of a lawsuit against the company by former workers accusing it of age discrimination. The company fired up to 100,000 workers over 40 years old from approximately 2013 to 2018, according to ProPublica.

Image in story courtesy of IBM and the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton is the Editor of eWeek UK. He has 18 years' journalism and writing experience. His career has taken him to China, Japan and the UK - covering tech, fintech and business. Follow on Twitter @TonyFintech.

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