LONDON: Wimbledon, the world’s oldest tennis championship, is embracing new technology with an iPad app to appeal to a younger audience.
The app allows users to navigate around the grounds via a photographic map, zooming in on specific courts to get updates on the state of play. They can also get alerts telling them how their favorite players are faring.
The All England Club (AELTC), which stages the tournament on the grass courts of suburban London, is in the position of knowing that demand for tickets far outstrips supply.
But with so many people unable to get tickets, the tournament’s online presence has brought it closer to fans around the world, AELTC Commercial Director Mick Desmond said.
“If you can’t come to Wimbledon, we want to try to make it the next best experience,” he told Reuters.
“We try to position Wimbledon as tennis in an English garden but at the same time we want to be at the cutting edge of innovation,” he said.
“It’s allowing us to reach a younger audience.”
The launch of the free iPad app follows a push into mobile in 2011 and an overhaul last year of the official Wimbledon website. The site attracted 17 million users in 2012.
IBM also offers predictive software to help online fans to gauge the momentum of a match, point by point. For Wimbledon this will be complemented by a monitor of social media sentiment to show who is seen to be gaining the upper hand.