Soccer team in a huddle

WTA Serves Game-Time Data Live with SAP HANA

July 13, 2016 by Christine Donato 32

Undeniably the most prestigious tennis event of the four which make up the Grand Slams, Wimbledon attracts the best tennis players from around the world. Tennis fans across the globe watch the action from their homes or travel far and wide to see the fierce matches in person. This year, Serena Williams claimed the illustrious title.

WTA players are remarkable athletes. And the organization is as well, as it was founded on the desire to create a better future for female tennis players, women as a whole, and people across the globe. In 1970, Billie Jean King signed a famous $1 contract to start the WTA.  Today the players are playing for over $137 million on the WTA, the global leader in professional women’s sport.

A Leader in Innovation

The WTA is not only a leader in female sports, but also in innovation.  The WTA saw opportunity and advancement in introducing on court coaching in 2008, designed  to further  enhance  the entertainment  value  of women’s  tennis  to television and live viewers.

With its new solution, SAP Tennis Analytics for Coaches powered by SAP HANA, the WTA can deliver deep analytics in real-time to coaches at WTA events, allowing them to interact with the athletes live, during the match, instead of waiting to discuss such deep analytics and strategy afterwards.

Coaches are armed with tablets containing the analytics needed to beat the competition; and they are able to walk this information onto the court and discuss it with their players.

The app provides tendencies; it shows the speed and direction of a serve, speed of strokes, where the stroke pattern is going, and court coverage. Coaches and players can see what’s trending, the successes on the court, and the failures… all live while the match is taking place to help shape the outcome.

Putting the Fan First

“We view our fans as customers,” said WTA CEO Steve Simon. “It’s our responsibility and priority to deliver them the best value for their entertainment dollar. As the world of consuming product is changing in front of us, this allows us to place our fans and the media as our #1 priority.”

The modern fan of 2016 wants real-time data and behind the scenes information. “They want to feel like they’re with the player,” Simon continued. “They want to know what the players are seeing. They want to see the strategy as it’s unfolding in front of them.”

“Running SAP HANA is definitely making it easier for fans to enjoy us,” said Simon. “It’s giving them the in-depth background information that they’re looking for.  No longer is the fan just looking for pictures; they’re looking for the story behind the pictures, and SAP is helping us provide that.”

Future Enhancements

Looking into 2017, the WTA will implement a brand new broadcast strategy enabling the live broadcast of every WTA singles match as well as the semi-finals and finals of every doubles match. All of the broadcast data will be hosted on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

“The goal of the WTA, which is currently the number one women’s professional sports league in the world, is not just to be the number one women’s sports league in the world, but to be competitive with all sports.  Our partnership with SAP is going to allow us to build audience because of the stories that we’re able to tell, and thus be competitive in that marketplace,” closed Simon.

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This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

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