The Australian Open ... to the Public


IBM,, serves it up hot and innovative providing fans the opportunity to experience the Australian Open international tennis tournament first-hand with a chance to face a serve from their favorite tennis players. With the company’s release of a new iPad app, fans can now easily view schedules, match and player analysis—with schedules in realtime. It is the ultimate fan app, enabling users to follow their favorite athletes with the ability to tweet supportive messages.

This is not their only fan-friendly technology. With IBM ReturnServe, users can face the serves of their favorite players, and attempt to serve back with just as much might—the chance to virtually experience playing with your idol using a home computer. Based on live match data analyzed by IBM at Rod Laver Arena, fans can face each serve at home, using their computer or at virtual reality locations in Sydney and Melbourne. The aim of the game is to return serves at the same speed as the world’s best players. IBM ReturnServe is hosted on IBM SoftLayer, the company's scalable cloud computing platform.

For those seeking an extensive experience learning about their favorite athletes, they can check out IBM SlamTracker. With this program, fans are able to keep track of pivotal moments in an athlete’s career, via patterns in player style. Hosted on the Australian Open Website, the app analyzes more than eight years of Grand Slam data to identify patterns in player style. New features to SlamTracker for 2014 include streamlined analysis of more fan-friendly key turning points in a match, such as aces and winning shots, and a social media sentiment feed that measures the percentage of positive tweets. 

IBMs has had a 21-year involvement with the Australian Open with the intention of making the sport more enjoyable and engaging to a variety of audiences. This latest focus on the omni-channel experience is no exception. With new digital technologies like the iPad app and virtual reality IBM ReturnServe, the Australian Open is a leading example of the way of cloud computing, data analytics, social and mobile technologies to help better connect tennis and other sports with target audiences. Keep serving the public fresh innovations, IBM.

Want to tweet about this? Use hashtags #IBMsports, #ausopen, #ibmreturnserve

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