We believe that a connected race is a more exciting race
Together with Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.), we are shaping the future of fan engagement by delivering deeper data insights and transforming the business of pro cycling. Creating a live-tracking and data analytics solution for the Tour de France has revolutionized the fan experience for commentators, the media and viewers alike.
Why Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) needs to stay ahead in a constantly evolving pro sport worldTechnology doesn’t stand still. It’s always racing ahead. Nowhere is this more true than in the fiercely competitive sports industry.
The iconic Tour de France came from humble beginnings back in 1903, to boost sales for the newspaper L’Auto. Now, it attracts huge attention by the media and cycling fans around the world.
Today’s fans not only engage on TV, but on digital platforms from multiple devices. Organizers, A.S.O., needed to create a new fan experience for the Tour and multiple pro cycling races. And, it had to be done quickly. Other high-performance sports have already set a new benchmark through the adoption of new technologies.
The event had to be more attractive, immersive, and exciting. It partnered with Dimension Data, as part of the NTT family, as Official Technology Partner in 2015. This was a five-year arrangement to deliver a next-generation fan experience for the Tour de France.
'We want our fans to be in the race, but from any place in the world.', Managing Director of A.S.O.
Consulting Services, Technical Services, Cloud Services, procurement and logistics, real-time data analytics
Fully mobile data centre – the data truck, cloud platform, videoconferencing and collaboration tools, cybersecurity applications and monitoring
'A strong system gave us the opportunity to deliver, from beginning to end, the position of every single rider in the race.', Managing Director of A.S.O.
How technology services transformed the fan experience
The technology services we provided to support the A.S.O.’s fan engagement strategy have evolved from focusing mainly on making data available, to using data to tell great stories. This drew in new viewers while bringing further enjoyment to long-standing fans.
Live rider tracking and predictive data was published online, through social media, and on television during the race. There, real-time data was also used for live TV graphics. A live-tracking website allows commentators, media, and fans to track individual riders, their speed and position, and distances between riders – all in real-time.
Our cloud and networking infrastructure provided the flexibility and speed to keep pace with the dynamics of the race. Even through bad weather and high-speed crashes.
The transformation of the Tour de France delivers a truly engaging and richer digital experience for everyone.
What the Tour de France solution consisted of
As Official Technology Partner, we partnered with A.S.O. to implement a live tracking and data analytics solution. This brought a second-screen viewing experience to pro cycling and the Tour de France.
The solution connects tracking devices on all 176 bikes on the Tour, to a fully mobile data centre truck, and then to NTT’s cloud. Devices also communicate with each other and with vehicles and aircraft following the race. Data analysis takes place on an analytics platform, powered by the data truck and the NTT cloud. It is then served up on TV, mobile devices, and internet screens around the world.
The world-class live-tracking and data analytics platform was delivered in just four months. Enabled by our skills in digital business technologies, including digital infrastructure, hybrid cloud, workspaces for tomorrow, and cybersecurity. We also followed agile development practices and used technologies to enable greater speed and flexibility — specifically our global cloud platform. Cybersecurity elements included best-practice cloud and web security as part of an as-a-service offering. Regular security assessments, and on-premise network security in the data truck was also provided.
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.
'Our vision is to strengthen our leadership in out-of-stadium events so that the Tour de France always remains an event of its time.', Managing Director of A.S.O.