IBM & Heineken Have Big Plans For The US Open

Two Westchester-HQ’d firms lend some extra interest to this year’s US Open—an event from the White Plains-based United States Tennis Association.

Jon Simon / Feature Photo Service for IBM

In addition to great tennis and celebrity sightings, this year’s US Open (taking place place from August 25 to September 8) includes fun offerings from two of Westchester’s largest companies.

Armonk-based IBM worked closely with White Plains-based USTA to design and develop immersive mobile apps for iPhone and iPad as well as Android devices that provide instant access to US Open scores, live video, in-depth match analysis, and statistics. The company also designed and developed the US Open tournament website, The site features data sets and enhanced data visualizations powered by IBM’s SlamTracker analytics and cloud technologies that it says will, “more effectively communicate real time and historical statistical insights.”

The cool factor is high: According to an IBM statement, SlamTracker analyzes more than 41 million data points from eight years of Grand Slam tennis match data to identify three performance indicators—dubbed “Keys to the Match”—that can affect a player’s ability to succeed. During a match, SlamTracker visualizes the real-time data, including serve statistics and winning shots, allowing fans to interact with the data to gain deeper insight into match dynamics.

IBM also developed an app that creates music out of tennis data. (Yes, you read that right.) It partnered with electronic musician James Murphyand ad agency Ogilvy & Mather New York to create the app, which showcases the power of its cloud and analytics capabilities.

"For every match that is played, users can listen to music generated from the match in real time," said Ann Rubin, vice president of branded content and global creative at IBM. "It allows you to engage with our brand in a unique way. Analytics and cloud technology are hard things to explain, so it's good for us to show these technologies in action, in ways people can understand.”

And White Plains-based Heineken USA, a 23-time sponsor of the US Open, has expanded its popular Heineken House, a lounge-y spot to catch the action on the courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens. What’s new at the Heineken House? A menu created by some of New York City’s best chefs—including custom-designed sandwiches from celebrity chefs—as well as various challenges that will allow fans to “write their name in the record books and become legends in their own right,” according to Pattie Falch, Heineken USA’s brand director of sponsorships and events. The company is returning its “Heineken Perfect Pour” competition, where local NYC bartenders teach fans how to properly pour their beers. The company is also operating the Heineken Red Star Café elsewhere on the grounds of the U.S. Open.

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