Driving data further: How NTT DATA supports The Open as the Official IT Provider
Since 2013, NTT DATA has enjoyed a close partnership with The R&A as the official patron and IT provider for The Open – the world’s oldest golf tournament. Over these years, we have leveraged cutting-edge technology to enhance fan experiences, from the creation of the NTT DATA Wall in 2014 to the analysis of billions of data points to offer fans real-time insights during play.
Last year, we celebrated a decade of innovation with the launch of our ground-breaking NTT DATA’s Digital Twin technology, ShotView. This year, the technology advancing the experience promises to bring even more insight and immersive experiences to fans. As always, our focus is on elevating the experience for golf enthusiasts and newcomers to the sport - whether they're on the course, at home, or on-the-go.
Our partnership with NTT DATA has been instrumental in driving innovative change at The Open since 2013. From the introduction of digital scorecards to the latest innovations like the NTT DATA Wall and the digital-twin powered ShotView, we have raised the bar for digital fan experiences.
Our goal is to engage as many people as possible with the sport of golf, and providing attractive digital offerings is key to that. By offering a depth of information, we are able to pull in more fans and increase their love of the game. Once again, we are excited to progress our journey of delivering the most relevant, innovative, and interesting digital experiences for fans with the help of NTT DATA.
The digitisation of sports: A game-changing transformation
The world of sport has undergone a significant change in recent years, thanks to the digital revolution. Data-driven insights have become essential for improving athletic performance, enhancing fan experience, designing better equipment and gaining valuable business insights.
Moreover, real-time data and analytics have transformed how sports are consumed through online and broadcast media. Fans can now enjoy a constant stream of insights, overlays, comparisons and predictions, making data as important as video and audio content.
In golf, technology has become an integral part of the game, impacting both professionals and amateurs. The fusion of data and analysis, presented in an easy-to-consume format, has made golf an even more thrilling sport to watch and follow.
What we’ve achieved with The R&A over the past decade has been incredibly rewarding, and it is fantastic to see such great solutions produced. Our goal is simple: bring fans as close as possible to the action through data. Golf is a game of statistics. Tiny variables can have huge impacts; details matter, and the more data fans can access, the richer their experience becomes.
We look forward to building more exciting innovations together with The R&A, providing even more incredible fan experiences.
2013NTT DATA becomes an Official Patron and IT Provider for The Open.
2014The NTT DATA Wall is launched. The Wall provides an unprecedented immersive experience, providing fans with data from driving distances and accuracy to hole difficulty, available to fans at the event, watching at home or catching up on the go.
2015Introduction of the NTT DATA ‘mini-wall’, mirroring the data experience of The NTT DATA Wall at a secondary location at St Andrews for fans to enjoy. Fans are given the option to ‘tweet’ The Wall, requesting data on specific players.
2016For the first time, the NTT DATA Wall is available to see on NTT DATA’s corporate website, showcasing real-time features such ‘Hotspots’, for NTT DATA’s clients unable to attend the event.
2017Within the NTT DATA hospitality suite, the real-time tournament displayed on NTT DATA’s Wall is visualised (via HoloLens overlaid onto a 3-D golf course map) to NTT DATA guests using Augmented Reality (AR) technology.
2018The NTT DATA Wall evolves further, featuring 3D visuals synchronised with the live TV broadcast, displayed on a giant LED wall with instant scoring updates. Unprecedented hole-by-hole data analysis brings the data behind the sport to life in a unique way.
2019NTT DATA introduces video AI to The Open for the first time. The technology analyses the response of fans in the spectator village, using this data to create instant highlights of the most emotional moments of the event. Video clips of the AI ‘emotional recognition’ technology results are presented to guests in the hospitality suite using Kirari technology. Guests are also given demonstration of NTT DATA’s AI ‘video clipping’ technology, demonstrating how AI can automatically recognise and segment video clips of specific players, shots and holes.
2020The Open for the Ages is launched. With an in-person event not possible, due to the pandemic, NTT DATA worked with The R&A to put on a unique virtual event, pitting golfing greats from the past 50 years against one another.
2021With crowd safety still a concern, a personalised “My Newsfeed” service was launched, meaning that whether fans were fortunate enough to get a ticket to Royal St George’s or were tuning in remotely, they could follow the action on their mobile phone or computer. The newsfeed section of the The Open’s site featured scores and updates on players alongside statistical insight from the 8 billion data points processed by NTT DATA through the tournament.
20222022 marked a special occasion, as The Open celebrated its 150th year, and as such, it was important that we supported The R&A with concepts that had never been seen before in the world of golf. As such, we launched our digital twin-supported ShotView technology. This technology brought the fans closer than ever to the data behind the drama, enabling fans on the course and at home to gain unprecedented insights into the millions of data points gathered around the course in a live, interactive setting.
2023This year will see the continuation of the longstanding NTT DATA Wall, with updates to the format which will place the fans on the screen alongside the data, as well as the return of ShotView technology, following its inaugural success last year. 2023 will also see the introduction of an interactive digital human showcasing the power of generative AI in guiding experiences.