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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

SAP Changing the Way Tennis is Played – Webcast Summary

Following up from Transforming Women’s Tennis with Innovative Technology Webcast Summary – Changing the Game in 2013 and Karin Tillotson’s Tennis Anyone?  Part 2 I watched this SAP webcast this week.  SAP’s Jenni Lewis provided this webcast about how SAP is working with sports teams using SAP tools.  I do like the way Jenni describes the business scenario, the need, and how they work with customers.

Jenni Lewis has been working on analytics on tennis, extreme sailing, ICC World Cup, including how to use mobile apps to engage fans, how work with media teams.  Disclaimer – I haven’t watched tennis for a long time (since Martina days) so hopefully I don’t mix up the terms as Jenni explains them.


Figure 1: Source: SAP

SAP is global technology sponsor for the WTA to show how analytics can help “change the game” to turn “insights to action”

SAP looks at Formula One, Extreme Sailing, Cricket World cup; it is relevant to business as outcomes are similar to business

They want to optimize fan engagement, athlete performance, how pivot from insights to action

Jenni Lewis works in sponsorship portfolio is used to allow players, media, teams, to simplify business process and provide athletes with information

SAP has been on a journey with WTA for 18 months.  Players have access to information that they did not before.  They are trialing now real-time information available to coaches

They are also working with the media to make sure they had access – the what and the why things are happening – the same for business.  What direction should you be taking and optimizing performance

The third audience is the fans – get more people involved the more they want to watch and expand

Starts with a Tennis Player


Figure 2: Source: SAP

It starts with a tennis player

The umpire has a tablet in the chair using it to score to match  – the score is transmitted

They try to get the most data feed

Which end of the court, who won the coin toss, when players call the coach, timeouts

Second data feed is hawkeye to track ball and player from officiating point of view to see where player is positioned

The feed is 20 seconds behind play

Most of the information is at the same level

Not every match is tracked

54 tournaments, 34 countries


Figure 3: Source: SAP

Next step is to interpret the data

Everything is hosted in the cloud

Real time feeds come in as matches

It is manipulated and sent to database

Hawkeye data is coming to them as a web service, so is the data from the tablet


Figure 4: Source: SAP

Running standard SAP BI also hosted in the cloud and push out to any device – for WTA for mobile devices


Figure 5

End users include coaches, WTA and media

Rolled out the BI portal

Player Analytics and Media Reports

Transform how tennis is consumed


Figure 6: Source: SAP

Figure 6 is an example for the media

The WTA needs to produce a series of head to head and profile reports

They used to do this manually and took hours

By automating the solution, the media now gets fun facts – how many times has a player beaten a left handed player?

They can track performance – defend the points of last 12 months – points to defend


Figure 7: Source: SAP

Figure 7 shows the Infographics from Lumira

Before used graphic designers to build

Take the standard information to automate the process – produce infographics quickly and easily

WTA and media are more aware of information that is available and more of a self-service – the NBA is where most sports want to get to.


Figure 8: Source: SAP

Figure 8 shows a Mobile app for tennis players

Aces, double faults; but don’t have context of how player is performing – e.g. break point (player is serving, about to lose game – under pressure)

Nine break point opportunities and save 6 of them.  How many times did she serve was she under break point?  This offers context to the players

Having more data doesn’t mean you understand your business; it is about insights – such a great statement from Jenni Lewis


Figure 9

Service performance point by point – how often she won that, how often she had to do a second serve

Had to use a second server quite often early in the game – a confidence issue

When she was at 30-all, go to game point; she did well

Coaches can look at this and strategize for a match

They can customize and build solutions


Figure 10: Source: SAP

Figure 10 shows how the app tracks data to help coaches to show where serve, where from, where to – what is going on in the court

They look at serving patterns, from a coaches and scouting point of view

Yellow balls are first serve, blue second, and aces – look at patterns of play

They have the ability to drill down and see what it is at break point – player tendencies and work to – a number of players are looking at their tendencies

The “eye lies” because of emotion – now can see predictability of what doing on forehand and backhand


Figure 11: Source: SAP

Where stand on returning the ball?  Outside the court?  The quicker return back – the less time giving opponent to react

Taking tracking data and providing simple insights

Provide to players via a portal

Everyone understands and user adoption – have great adoption

Where take this?

The want to take this real-time


Figure 12: Source: SAP

Figure 12 shows where they want to go with this: On-court coaching

SAP has been working with WTA – how take this information available at coaching consultation once a set or injury timeout.  The technology is ready but it needs to be equal


Figure 13: Source: SAP

Using  SAP HANA Cloud Platform for any device – tested on all devices so can test anywhere

Three areas – match set, yellow a coach can see where player is winning

Coach has to maintain eye contact with player

It provides situational information and drill as needed

The coaches can see the tracking screen and the serving patterns

SAP used Design Thinking workshops for this; what things were important to players?

The flexibility of HANA Cloud Platform – available anywhere in the world, and not locked into a particular mobile app or platform

They used SAP standard software to deliver – used tools like Lumira to help understand the data they had. They had 40 years of history but couldn’t profile it very well; able to gain insights with Lumira – including InfoGraphics


[ANZ Webcast – Feb 17] Game, Set, Match: How SAP Technology is Revolutionising Women’s Tennis


Please consider joining ASUG on Monday May 4 for a hands-on session with Design Studio, Lumira, Analysis – seeASUG Pre Conference 2015 – Analysis Office, Lumira, and Design Studio

See: Upcoming ASUG BI Webinars – February 2015 (Part II)

BI 2015

Next ASUG Lumira Webcast is February 26 – Lumira Deployment Options for Departments Part 1

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks for the nice read. It was a welcome change on this rainy Saturday morning here in The Netherlands