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Volume 21 No. 30
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Tennis, Everywhere

Wimbledon embraces a major push in social and digital media
Photo: Daniel Kaplan

The stewards of Wimbledon are laying waste to the idea that the tournament is just a stodgy relic. Nowhere is that more evident than at the new Wimbledon Broadcast Services complex, which resembles the command center of a major media operation.

 

Photo: Daniel Kaplan

For the first time, the tournament is running the global feed, having taken it over from the BBC. All 18 courts are now televised, and more content is being pushed into various feeds — Wimbledon has 4.3 million followers to its official Facebook account, 3.6 million followers on Twitter and 1.4 million on Instagram — for distribution around the world. There are nearly 45 staffers dedicated to social media, roaming the grounds capturing content.

  

In addition, the IBM Artificial Intelligence project allows the tournament to use crowd noise and player gestures to rank points in importance and send those highlights out.

 

Wimbledon famously has limited signage onsite, so building an online home for the tournament has allowed it to offer sponsor benefits that are unavailable elsewhere.