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Wimbledon Gets Social Media Makeover

Social media incorporated into traditional tournament

Social media and Wimbledon - perhaps not the most natural of pairings. Indeed, British hopeful Naomi Broady struggled to shake off her ‘bad-girl’ image at this year’s tournament, having been disciplined by the LTA seven years ago over a risqué photo she published on social media during a night out. This year she sparked further eyebrow-raising as she was amongst a group of female stars spotted playing bra-less.

Reflecting on the photo that she posted on the social network Bebo, Broady says: ‘It went over my head, the whole incident. I wasn’t doing drugs, I wasn’t paralytic drunk on the floor, it was just a stupid jokey pose that looked horrible. I learned the lesson about social media and the internet. I’m actually really boring.” It was a hard lesson to learn, as the LTA cut her funding as a result of the online embarrassment and she has since trained off her own back.

It’s not all risqué photos and underwear at the prestigious South West London club – the tournament is channeling social media into more productive purposes. In an attempt to keep fans happy and improve users’ social media experience, Wimbledon is using long-time partner IBM’s SoftLayer Cloud to understand and respond to fans in real time. By analysing social media, the club will be able to understand who and what is being talked about, whilst sports fans are able to personalise their Wimbledon news feeds on tablets and smartphones.

Now into the second week of the tournament, and with 19 million unique visitors to Wimbledon.com last year, the analytics tool will help tailor the website in real time so as to present the most relevant information according to fans’ interests and trending topics on social media.

Content and communications manager at AELTC Alex Willis explains:

“The Wimbledon Social Command Centre will help us follow the evolving topics on sites like Twitter to see what is being discussed, how the volume is changing, and we can tune and tailor that to the Wimbledon.com website”.

“So if the social media coverage is actually talking about a match on court 12, rather than Centre court, it means we can understand that and give people the content they want.”

IBM's SlamTracker has also been redesigned for this year including a new interface and fan-focused "Keys to the Match" predictive analytics to forecast performance indicators and player popularity. Despite some archaic rules and regulations, it seems that Wimbledon and its fans are enjoying the benefits of social media.


Recent graduate and now interning as content editor, when she's not writing articles Katie can quite likely be found festival-ing, holiday-ing or reading a book (dedicated English student that she is). Follow her @KatieAtSMF.

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Wimbledon Gets Social Media Makeover Reviewed by Anonymous on Tuesday, July 01, 2014 Rating: 5
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