I was delighted today to read a release from my ex-employer that they have just signed a 5 year deal with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) to be their official Analytics Partner. Among other things, this extends the types of data-rich viewer experience that has been pioneered on the Wimbledon.com website with IBM Slamtracker to the Rugby Fan (via IBM TryTracker).
It will be fascinating to see how the insights translate into the arena of Rugby. First chance for us all to see it will be on the opening Six Nations games this weekend via the RFU website.
I have to declare an interest. Having been at the centre of the IBM Rugby World Cup sponsorship with ITV in 2011 it’s very gratifying to see the conversations started on the back of that campaign turning into significant strategic business. Of course, there’s been some outstanding engagement from the sales teams since then, and certainly the transfer of Ian Ritchie from the All England Tennis Club to be the RFU’s CEO last year won’t have done any harm.