Feb 01, 2013 at 05:15 PM
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IBM Brings Analytics To Rugby Football Union

The Rugby Football Union and IBM have agreed to a strategic five year agreement that makes IBM the Official Analytics Partner for the RFU. As part of the deal, IBM, similar to its other activations, will implement an analytics solution to provide fans with real-time insights into the game. Unique to rugby, IBM will launch the IBM TryTracker, which will include the ‘Keys to the Game’, provide play-by-play insights during the game, and predict three crucial areas of performance specific to each team ahead of match day. For example, TryTracker may predict a team's chances of victory based on the proportion of scrums won or rate of successful kicks.

“We’re delighted to be working with a company of IBM’s calibre," Sophie Goldschmidt, Chief Commercial Officer, RFU. "This important new long-term agreement will enable the RFU to give fans even more insight and understanding into what’s happening on the pitch and why, as well as ensuring we remain at the forefront of new technology to enrich the overall fan experience. Our plans also involve utilising IBM’s expertise to further benefit the grassroots game and enhance performance at the elite level.”

The RFU partnership is not the firm's first foray into Rugby. Last year, IBM partnered with the Leicester Tigers to use IBM predictive analytics software to assess the likelihood of injury to to the team's players, then using these insights to deliver personalized training programs for players at risk. The RFU suite of analytics, however, will be more robust similar to the activations IBM carries out with grand slam tennis tournaments like Wimbledon, The Australian Open and The US Open.

"In sport and business, data is a game changer, “said Martin Guillaume, Media and Sports Leader for IBM Global Business Services UK and Ireland. “IBM is powering new consumer experiences with advanced real -time analytics. By doing this, we offer a new way to enjoy the game, by uncovering insights that matter, enhancing the fan experience and providing vital feedback to players and stakeholders." #dealstag