Software

From Wimbledon to Fenway, AI is infiltrating sports

“This park is almost like a blinking ecosystem of lights, full of tech that really needs to be working day in day out,” Red Sox tech exec tells IT Brew.
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Francis Scialabba

less than 3 min read

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From cybersecurity and big data to cloud computing, IT Brew covers the latest trends shaping business tech in our 4x weekly newsletter, virtual events with industry experts, and digital guides.

Game, set, and match for an AI victory? The technology is often deployed across the tech industry to locate and track threats, automate processes, and assist with customer service—but some companies are utilizing it in other sectors of the economy.

That’s what IT powerhouse IBM is doing with the All England Lawn Tennis Club, home of the Wimbledon tennis tournament. The two are working together via a program called Catch Me Up which uses AI-generated player profiles and news on the Wimbledon 2024 app.

“Generative AI allows us to scale our ability to provide different types of content for fans wherever they are in the world in a way that’s personalized for them,” the club’s digital products lead, Chris Clements, said in comments accompanying the feature’s announcement.

On top of it. Catch Me Up is the latest in a decades-long partnership between IBM and the Club, IBM SVP of Marketing and Communications Jonathan Adashek said in the announcement statement. The company is expanding its efforts to use AI in its overall offerings.

“For 35 years, IBM and Wimbledon have been co-creating solutions that make fans feel more connected to all the on-court action, and our new research confirms they are beginning to understand the positive impact technologies such as generative AI can have on their digital experiences,” Adashek said. “IBM is also putting these same technologies from our AI and data platform watsonx into the hands of clients worldwide.”

Home run. The All England Lawn Tennis Club is not the only sports venue utilizing AI. Red Sox VP of Technology Operations and Information Security Randy George told the audience at an April event with security firm Centripetal that AI is an integral part of the larger tech system of Fenway Park.

“All of our concession technology is working, our WiFi is working, we have 60 cameras scattered around the park that our baseball operations folks need to do all of the AI and ML work for player development and scouting,” George said at the time. “And so this park is almost like a blinking ecosystem of lights, full of tech that really needs to be working day in day out.”

Top insights for IT pros

From cybersecurity and big data to cloud computing, IT Brew covers the latest trends shaping business tech in our 4x weekly newsletter, virtual events with industry experts, and digital guides.