Creating a richer fan experience with deeper data insights
Business doesn’t stand still and neither does the world of sport. Always searching for new ways to engage with their fans, A.S.O. is leveraging the power of data and technology in order to revolutionize the fan experience of the Tour de France and other pro cycling races.
Every year, the expectations of a fan for an increasingly engaging experience evolve, and the way that A.S.O. interacts with them must change as well.
In order to cater for increasingly digitally savvy cycling fans, they needed to embark on a process of digital transformation. These fans are looking to interact with the race anywhere, anytime and have greater insight into the race itself. This required a data-driven approach.
To enable this transformation, A.S.O. partnered with us in 2015, tapping into our expertise to provide new digital capabilities and products across multiple channels to engage these fans.
Over the past five years our co-innovation partnership has constantly evolved, taking the Tour de France to the forefront of the digital cycling fan experience.
Starting in 2015 with live tracking of riders and providing real-time data for broadcasters, the set of services has grown each year. Highlights include enhanced data analytics, a full Race Center website, the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide greater insight into the race, the use of augmented reality, and the creation of fantasy leagues linked to the race.
Throughout the history of the Tour de France A.S.O. has always taken advantage of new technologies and focused on making the best use of emerging technologies both in optimizing race operations and delivering a revolutionary fan experience.
'We want our fans to be in the race, but from any place in the world.', Managing Director of A.S.O.
Managed Security services, Managed Network services, Managed Collaboration services, Infrastructure and cloud services
Digital Transformation/Innovation, Advanced data analytics, Data platform, Artificial intelligence, Machine learning
‘ The complexity of the TDF meanswe need an agile solution. Thechallenge is the coordination ofthe all the moving parts as the tourmoves every day and so does all ofthe equipment and infrastructure, so we are working with thevery best partners in each of theindustries to make the operations of the TDF as smoothas possible.’, CEO, Amaury Sport Organisation
Leveraging technology and innovation to power the Tour de France into the future
Working together with us as their Official Technology Partner, A.S.O. has, used live tracking and data analytics to create a rich, digital experience for fans.
It’s vital for them to cater for the audience watching the race on television, who are looking for greater insights from the broadcast team as well as using their digital devices as a second screen to monitor other aspects of the race, and the younger fans who use their digital devices as their primary connection to this iconic race. Working together with A.S.O., we have created a long-term innovation roadmap for the race, with new products and services being added every year.
At the core of this is the data that is collected from each rider in the race. Leveraging this, they provide broadcasters with the ability to incorporate live data into their product, giving them much deeper insight into the state of the race. To meet the needs of the digital-first fans A.S.O. and NTT Ltd. created the Race Center website that provides the audience with access to all the race information, optimized for consumption on any device.
Through the @letourdata team we’re able to visualize the information coming from the cloud-based data and analytics platform, providing an additional view into the data on social media and broadcasts. Leveraging our expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning, we’re able to enhance the data-driven storytelling approach with live race predictions produced by our machine learning #NTTPredictor. These predictions are also used to power the Tour’s fantasy league, creating an additional platform for A.S.O. to engage with fans.
In 2020 we’re continuing to work together to find innovative ways to bring the race to the fans including the release of a new augmented reality app that allows fans to visualize a 3D map enhanced with live race data, and the ability to track individual riders.
To enable this innovation-driven strategy, our data and analytics solution has been moved to a new, more flexible platform, allowing the team behind it to take advantage of the latest advances in platform technology. This has allowed us to create a complete solution that uses the most appropriate platforms for each element including on-premises, hybrid, containerized and serverless technologies. The Tour de France solution makes the most of our expertise in Intelligent Infrastructure, Intelligent, Business, Intelligent Workplaces and Intelligent Cybersecurity, all seamlessly delivered through our Managed Services capability. Together with A.S.O., we use our Managed Services to ensure that all services are seamlessly delivered, allowing our teams to focus on finding innovative ways to leverage the data.
A partnership based on continual innovation
The digital transformation of the Tour de France is a constant journey for A.S.O. Our co-innovation partnership has leveraged the expertise of the two organizations and used that to turn France into the world’s largest smart stadium for three weeks in September.
Prepared for future innovation
As part of the evolution of the Tour de France, we’re continually working with A.S.O. to evolve the innovation roadmap for the race. Through a number of initiatives, we tap into the passion and expertise of our 40,000 employees to explore new innovative ideas, with the best added to the roadmap for future races. This ensures that as technology moves forward the Tour is never left behind.
Engaging the digital audience
Through data-driven storytelling, A.S.O. can engage with a younger, more digitally savvy audience. Through live data, fantasy league and social media they can take the Tour to the fans, on whatever platform the fans choose to use. This not only enhances the experience of the race today but secures its future.
Flexible and agile
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing a delay to the start of the Tour in 2020, A.S.O. were able to take advantage of the agile and flexible nature of the platforms powering the Tour and launch the first virtual Tour de France. In a short period, they were able turn to the power of their platform and leverage it to provide deeper insights into the virtual Tour de France as the world’s top riders battled it out in cyberspace. When the Tour kicks off in August 2020 the entire solution will be supported remotely, for the first time, by the NTT Ltd. team across five continents, working to ensure that the fans continue to have the best experience possible.
As A.S.O. pursue their digital transformation journey our partnership enables them to continue to innovate, finding new ways to excite the fans and keeping the Tour de France at the pinnacle of the cycling calendar.
Today’s fans not only follow on TV, but also on digital platforms and from multiple devices.
A.S.O. wanted to improve the access to, and accuracy of, race data.
Real-time insight and analysis to enhance the viewing experience.
‘Over the last five years, we have built the Tour de France with NTT Ltd. and we have continued our digital transformation journey under unique circumstances this year. People have seen the benefits from sport even during the pandemic. Many people exercised during lockdown and now even more people are cycling to travel around. We can use technology to ensure the fan experience is richer than ever. These changes are good for the world. For example, if we can use the Tour de France as a platform to accelerate cycling in cities, we can improve people’s health and lessen our impact on the environment.’, CEO, Amaury Sport Organisation
Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) are the owners and operators of the Tour de France as well as other top international sporting events including the Dakar rally, the Tour Voile yachting race, the Paris marathon and the ladies French Open golf. They organize 240 days of competition per year, with 90 events in 25 countries.