How are these cutting-edge technologies impacting sports, and bettering the fan experience, and how is IBM working with sports organizations to digitally transform the games? New for this year, IBM is introducing AI-powered fan experiences for tennis and football fans, in partnership with the United States Tennis Association (USTA), which hosts the US Open, and with ESPN via ESPN Fantasy Football.
Tennis: At the end of this month, the US Open tennis tournament kicks off. For the past 30 years, IBM has worked closely as the technology partner of the USTA to elevate the digital and fan experience for US Open. This year, new technology solutions will be introduced that will enhance the fan experience at the 2021 US Open including:
- Power Rankings with Watson: AI-powered daily rankings of player momentum, which combines advanced statistical analysis, the natural language processing of IBM Watson, and the power of the IBM Cloud to analyze the most recent match data and media commentary, and direct the attention of fans to the most compelling matchups. Power Rankings will also help to inform insights like “Likelihood to Win,” “Ones to Watch,” and “Upset Alerts” for fans to better understand what the data is saying about players ahead of matches.
- Match Insights with Watson: AI-generated fact sheets that help fans quickly get up to speed ahead of every single match at US Open. Match Insights use natural language processing, machine learning, and the IBM Cloud to mine the most recent player statistics and media commentary for insight, including the latest IBM Power Rankings, relevant quotes from various media sources, and a natural language summary of key performance metrics.
- Fantasy Tennis: The USTA is launching Fantasy Tennis for the first time this year, which will be enriched with IBM Power Rankings and Match Insight data to help users make fantasy selections.
Football: For the fifth football season, IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence technology will be integrated into ESPN’s Fantasy Football app, to help fantasy football players make the most informed decisions and smartest trades when managing their fantasy teams. New this year, ESPN’s Fantasy Football app will reintroduce an improved version of Trade Assistant with Watson, which allows fantasy football players to customer their trade preferences and serve up personalized trade recommendations. Fantasy football players can now mark “Players to Trade,” “Players Not to Trade” and “Players of Interest,” and IBM Watson will make recommendations based on those customized preferences. Other features in the app powered by IBM, include Player Insights with Watson, which helps fantasy managers estimate the potential upside and downside of a matchup, analyze boom or bust chances and assess injuries.
IBM has a long history of delivering next-generation digital experiences for some of the world's most revered sports and entertainment events and venues. IBM’s sports partnerships are centered around engaging with fans digitally, and utilizing data in new ways, with the same AI, hybrid cloud and security technology leveraged by IBM enterprise clients.