Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the organiser of the Tour de France, has partnered with Dimension Data since 2015 to help engage a new generation of young fans. Aged between 18 and 35, they now make up 73% of the Tour de France’s 6,5-million-strong social media audience.
As the official technology partner of the Tour de France, Dimension Data has consistently innovated to transform the viewing experience of the world’s biggest cycling event through the use of technology and innovative videos and data storytelling, and this year will be no different.
Through this innovative partnership, A.S.O. has already seen impressive results across all its digital platforms. Visits to the website have increased by 15% year-on-year, and Tour de France online video views have risen from 6-million in 2014 to 71-million in 2017. This reflects the growing trend of younger audiences favouring digital content over traditional broadcast, providing a more immersive experience of the iconic race.
In order to produce the all-important race insights, Dimension Data analyses over 150-million data points per stage of the Tour de France and uses analytics to provide fans with daily real-time data visualisations on official social channels such as @letourdata.
This year, for the first time, the television broadcast will also air these social data snippets. Dimension Data first introduced machine learning to predict likely outcomes of the race in 2017. This year, the company will also apply the power of predictive analytics in protecting the data against cybersecurity attacks.
Attracting over 9,1-million visitors each year, the Race Centre platform enables fans to track the position and speed of their favourite cyclist real time. They can also access the real-time effects of variables such as route terrain and weather conditions and be privy to highly accurate predictions such as; stage favourites, the estimated time of arrival at key points in the race, and when the peloton is likely to catch the breakaway group.
This year, Dimension Data has also harnessed the collective creativity of its 28 000 global employees through an innersourcing programme. The aim is to drive the next generation of ideas to fuel the innovation roadmap for the fan experience. This has inspired creative visions of innovation, from augmented reality 3D mappings and enhanced algorims to predict outcomes of the race with even greater acuracy.
Julien Goupil, media director at ASO, says: “Since becoming the official technology partner of the Tour de France in 2015, Dimension Data has had a major influence on the increased digitisation of race data. The event is a source of great national pride in France that needs to be protected and nurtured for the enjoyment of future generations. It is extremely encouraging to see the increasing number of younger fans we are engaging across our digital channels.”
Scott Gibson, executive for digital business solutions at Dimension Data, adds: “The Tour de France is a complex event. It is not based in a stadium, so the logistical challenges involved are significant. That’s what makes achieving this outcome for the ASO so challenging, but also exciting. Our mobile data centre and predictive analytics platform, combined with an incredibly passionate team is really the driving force behind the innovation that we bring to the Tour every year. Often in the middle of nowhere, dealing with adverse weather conditions, we are proud to be able to produce instant and accurate real-time analytics and content that helps fans to better understand, follow and enjoy the race.”
The 105th edition of the Tour de France starts on 7 July 2018 in Noirmoutier-en-l’Île, Western France, and finishes in the Champs-Élysées, Paris on 29 July 2018.