Tuesday, August 27, 2013

US Open Tennis 2013

I had the opportunity to attend the US Open tennis tournament in New York city yesterday with my son.
Readers of this blog will recall my previous visits to the US Open in 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006. This year, I attended the opening Monday night session which included a spectacular opening ceremony with a performance by Lenny Kravitz. Celebrities in attendance included NYC mayor Bloomberg, Billie Jean King and Donald Trump. I watched Sarena Williams defeat Francesca Schiavone in straight sets. Unfortunately, the second match featuring Roger Federer was cancelled due to rain.

As in the past, IBM is a major sponsor for the event and runs the USOpen.org website and other technology needs including the scoring, statistics and court side radar guns. Mobile applications for Apple iOS and Google Android were back again this year as well as an Apple iPad-specific applications which made it easy to view news, match data, player stats, live high-definition video, live radio and Twitter feeds from the U.S. Open and players.  In addition, interactive maps of the Billie Jean King Tennis Center with integrated GPS made it easy to get from point A to point B. As in the past, American Express distributed free headsets to follow the play-by-play as well as the ability to link an American Express card with FaceBook and Foursquare and get exclusive discounts on food and merchandise.

The video below has more details on how IBM advances in mobile and cloud computing, Big Data analytics and social media analysis are improving the tennis experience as well as the following infographic. Fans can follow the action on SlamTracker while watching a match in person, on TV or via a computer. The Keys to the Match help you understand what players need to do to succeed in a match. When the tournament ends, the technology lessons learned will be used by industries ranging from retail to health care and government.

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