SAP and WTA Transform Women’s Tennis With New On-Court Coaching Technology Platform
Mobile App powered by SAP HANA® Simplifies How WTA Players and Coaches Use Data to Immediately Analyze Player Performance During Match Play
SINGAPORE — Oct. 21, 2014 — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) together with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) today announced a breakthrough technology innovation to allow coaches to bring a WTA-authorized mobile device onto the court during a coaching break and use real-time data insights to analyze player performance for WTA games. Developed by SAP as a custom-built solution using core SAP technology based on requirements of the WTA and its players, the WTA coaching app, which has been used this season by players and coaches post-match to prepare for future games, will be available for use by the WTA when the athletes call their coaches on-court during matches in the 2015 WTA Season. The announcement was made at the 2014 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global taking place at Singapore Sports Hub, where SAP is an official sponsor.
On-court coaching was originally introduced by the WTA in 2008 as a broadcasting initiative offering fans an inside look at the strategy between players and coaches. SAP worked very closely with WTA players and coaches in the development of this app to ensure that the data and analytics gathered will help them better engage by providing players and coaches with a tool to have insights about match performance live during a match.
“We believe that technology will play a major role in modernizing our sport, delivering more to our fans without altering the integrity of the game,” said Stacey Allaster, CEO and chairman, WTA. “Tennis is a data-driven sport and information is power. Many of our matches usually come down to just a few key points and any advantage that players and coaches can gain by analyzing trends and data could deliver and edge in the match. This technology sets a new standard for women’s tennis and we’re excited to work with SAP to innovate our sport and provide state-of-the-art resources to enhance our athletes’ performances and our fans’ experiences.”
Currently, WTA players and coaches receive post-match point-by-point analysis from SAP that allows them to visualize the subtle technique variations that players use throughout a match, helping them to analyze performance. Over the course of the 2014 WTA season, SAP technology experts worked closely with coaches and players to identify what information was essential to create a powerful analytics solution to optimize performance. As a result of this co-innovation approach, SAP developed a simple and engaging app to enable players and coaches to access key performance data such as serve direction and shot placement in real-time during match play.
“These statistics on the coaching app will make my job easier and advice more accurate during a match,” said Wim Fissette, WTA Coach.
In addition to the coaching tool, SAP developed the official WTA Finals mobile app to provide fans around the world with access to exclusive content, news, virtual replays, fan polls, statistics, player profiles and photos, along with ticketing and tournament information. Fans in Singapore will also be able to experience a Social Media Wall in the Fan Zone, allowing them to follow all activities around the WTA Finals on social media as well as the SAP Match Center, where attendees can track their favorite players’ insights and performance.
“We’re very fortunate to collaborate with an enthusiastic player and coach community to develop breakthrough technology to improve player performance and to simplify how the WTA engages with fans,” said Stefan Wagner, general manager, Media, Sports and Entertainment Industries, SAP. “The addition of this new coaching app completes what we’ve been doing from a post-match analysis by making the data available in real time to provide deeper insights during match play.”
Over the last few years, SAP has increased the company’s focus to help transform the media, sports and entertainment industries with innovative technology to improve team and player performance, increase fan engagement and simplify league and venue operations. Today, SAP is successfully collaborating with a number of well-known sports organizations and associations in sailing, golf, Formula 1 racing, cricket, American football, baseball, tennis, basketball and football.
The WTA is the global leader in women’s professional sport with more than 2,500 players representing 92 nations competing for a record $118 million in prize money at the WTA’s 54 events and four Grand Slams in 33 countries. Close to 5.4 million people attended women’s tennis events in 2013 with millions more watching on television and digital channels around the world. The 2014 WTA competitive season concludes with the WTA Championships in Singapore, October 17-26, 2014 and the Garanti Koza Tournament of Champions in Sofia, Bulgaria, October 28-November 2, 2014. Further information on the WTA can be found at www.wtatennis.com; facebook.com/WTA and twitter.com/WTA.
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