Business Magazine

How Technology is Making the US Open Even More Awesome

Posted on the 05 September 2014 by Shellykramer @ShellyKramer

IBM US OpenIf you’re a tennis lover and a fan of the US Open, you’re going to love how technology is changing the event—and making it even cooler than ever. Even better? It’s happening as a result of The Internet of Things that’s revolutionizing the way we do anything and everything — and cloud technology.

The Open partnered with IBM and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy to take real time data generated at the event and turn matches into music, calling it the US Open Sessions. When you’re an obsessive data freak like me, it doesn’t get much better than that. There are so many things about this campaign (because of course, that’s what it is) that are smart—from a marketing standpoint, from a business standpoint and from an audience engagement standpoint and, more broadly, a glimpse into how technology truly does (or can) change everything. Let’s take a look at the key things that make this campaign so incredibly smart.

Showcasing the Visual Impact of Data. Today, data drives everything and using the cloud to showcase how you can collect data, in real time, and turn that data into something tangible—like music and visuals—is key. That makes the concept so valuable and creates an end product that consumers can not only enjoy, they can perhaps think about similar applications for business purposes. That’s what I call marketing without really being in-your-face-marketing.

point US Open

The Millennial Audience. Who doesn’t want the attention of Millennials? Which is of course a rhetorical question. Millennials love music—it plays an integral role in pretty much everything they do. And they’re especially fans of EDM (that’s electronic dance music for you oldies out there). While the music created by way of this campaign isn’t exactly EDM, it’s close. I’m not a huge fan of tennis (don’t stone me, please, I’m being honest here), but I can only imagine how absolutely fan-flippin-tastic it would be to be at a tennis match and to be plugged into this real time experience and watching the match while HEARING the music created as a result of each stroke of the racket. I want to be there just to experience that—why didn’t I know about this sooner????

It’s An Experience, Baby. Today, the best forms of marketing are the ones that you can immerse your customers or prospective customers in. This is in every sense an immersion experience. You can be glued to the action on the court at the event in person or watching on TV and you can be plugged into the experience of the music created as a result of the match at the same time. The only downside is that the visuals created by the US Open Sessions are just as cool as the music that’s created, but if you’re watching the match, of course the real action is on the court. But it could be just as fun after a match to go back and watch it take place using music and visuals as your replay instead of the live action. So, you can immerse yourself in the experience of the Open in one way while the action is happening, then re-experience it all over again later. Sweet, isn’t it? Oh, and smart, too.

Mobile. Mobile. Mobile. In developing this initiative mobile was clearly at the forefront. And why wouldn’t it be? People attending the Open have their devices in hand, and people watching the open are probably either doing so on a device or doing so with a device in hand. Because, of course, it’s what we do. The site designed for this is visually appealing, easy to navigate and easy to find. Score. Score. Score.

IBM Mobile

See, Like, Share. The US Open Sessions site is built in such a way that accessing the soundtracks and data visualizations is super easy but, more importantly, they are extremely easy to share.

IBM Search

The rest of the story is that this collaboration will result in over 200 unique soundtracks and one album that Murphy will create from this collection of pieces. If you’re a tennis lover and an Open fan, this is a win in so many different ways.

As a marketer, it’s great to see sports organizations embracing technology and innovation and changing the experiences that they offer up in order to deliver a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.  It’s not like going to the Open (or any other major sporting event) isn’t cool in and of itself, but this makes it seem even more incredible while you’re there, and more than just a memory once you’re done. Given the Ryder Cup’s recent edict of a ban on social media pics and video, then its swift reversal in the face of overwhelming negative sentiment about that dumb decision, it’s refreshing to see an approach where fans are encouraged to participate and share.

Want to see it? Access is right here à US Open Sessions

Now I’ve got to stop what I’m doing and figure out which of my friends are at the Open, send them this link and get them to check it out and tell me what it’s like. Of course if you’re a fan and watching the Open, I’d love for you to check it out and let me know what you think of the experience overall and what it adds, if anything, to your experience of the event.

Game US Open

Lastly, if you want to know more about the cloud technology used to gather the data that created this experience, you should check out IBM’s SoftLayer Partner Program. It allows you to deploy public cloud instances with personalized, unique features in a matter of minutes and offers things like single-view management, pay-as-you-go billing and a ton of other cool options. And for you commitment-phobes, there’s a 30-day free trial. I’ve not tried it, but as a result of this US Open initiative, I’ll be looking for something that we can use SoftLayer to experiment with. Let me know if you do as well.

This post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit  IBM’s Midsize Insider. Dedicated to providing businesses with expertise, solutions and tools that are specific to small and midsized companies, the Midsize Business program provides businesses with the materials and knowledge they need to become engines of a smarter planet.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog