IBM, the official technology partner of the US Open, and the United States Tennis Association have teamed to offer new ways to help more fans than ever experience the action of the 2008 US Open. With a new array of personalised features including customised content and mobile alerts, the USOpen.org site will help fans get closer to the action of the US Open in ways not before possible.
In addition, this year IBM is helping the USTA run a more environmentally-friendly US Open by helping reduce the energy consumption required to power the tournament's web site and scoring operations. The IT solution continues to allow the USTA to concentrate on its goals of building value for the US Open brand around the world, meeting revenue objectives and promoting tennis in the US.
Even as visits to the USOpen.org site have grown steadily over the past two years, power consumption continues to decrease due to new innovative technologies from IBM. New solutions for the 2008 US Open that IBM is putting into place include implementing Power 550 servers running Linux with new Power6, the world's fastest microprocessor technology.
IBM is taking further advantage of virtualisation and systems management technologies to ensure an optimised infrastructure with integrated solutions for both monitoring and managing the infrastructure as well as a fully virtualised environment. These include a variety of IBM Tivoli systems management and security products, applications support from Rational, database management from DB2, and Web management from Lotus and WebSphere.
"The USTA requires a solution that helps extend the global reach of the tournament, but is also energy and cost-efficient," says Rick Singer, director of Worldwide Sponsorship Marketing at IBM. "USOpen.org must be scalable, highly available, highly secure as well as interactive, entertaining and user-friendly to ensure that fans have the best fan experience, no matter where they're sitting."
Phil Green, director of Advanced Media at USTA, adds: "Our 17-year partnership with IBM has allowed the USTA to continually deliver a unique and cutting-edge experience to all tennis fans.
"This year we're taking steps to make this Open not only more fan-friendly, but environmentally-friendly as well. Reducing energy consumption while being able to increase services, is an important statement for our growing fan base."
In 2008, IBM and the USTA are expanding their initiative to create an even more engaging, more immersive and more personalised user experience, including the following online features:
* My USOpen – Personalised section of the home page to track your favorite players; users can track up to five of their favorite players and customise their experience by following the players' statistics, related news and interviews, match results and scores.
* SlamTracker application — Interactive Draw feature that allows you to track your favorite player through the Draw as well as switch to follow a specific match in real-time, with exclusive point-by-point scoring.
* USOpen Fanbook – fans from around the world can share their thoughts, comments and perspective on the tournament in real-time.
* Widget – Scoring, Schedule, News and other tournament content. Widget is shareable via Facebook, iGoogle and downloadable via Yahoo! Widgets.
* Mobile.usopen.org – US Open "on the go" action all in one; receive real-time scores, stats, schedule for the day, news, photos and more.
* Text Alerts – fans can stay close to the action with text alerts for breaking news, match updates and more. There are more than 47 different alerts a user can select from including TV tune-in updates, breaking news and match updated (by player).