The French Tennis Federation (FFT) has outlined its ambition to be a leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based fan and player experiences at this year’s French Open at Roland Garros, hoping more intelligent digital services will help compensate for the lack of spectators.
This year’s tournament was supposed to take place in early summer but was postponed until this week due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It had been hoped that up to 10,000 fans would be allowed through the gates, but tightened restrictions mean just 1,000 people will set foot on the ground.
Limited capacity means that even the most seasoned of tennis fans will have to watch the action unfold on television, online or on their mobile. In this year, of all years, there will be additional expectations on the digital Roland Garros experience.
Roland Garros 2020
Organizers, just like their counterparts at the other three Grand Slams, are at least prepared. There is a recognition that the fixed locations of tennis’s most important events combined with limited numbers of tickets mean most fans will never physically attend.
The ambition for each tournament’s digital experience is the next best thing to being there and there is increasingly a belief that having the best technology contributes to each Grand Slam’s claim to be the most prestigious in the sport.
Last year Roland Garros enlisted the support of technology firm Infosys to boost its digital efforts and fan engagement, introducing analytics-based features and Augmented