A new survey and report reveals that technology and apps are driving tennis fan experiences in the digital age, especially for younger fans.
The report “Tennis Radar: The Next Big Era” by Infosys, the digital innovation partner of the ATP World Tour, the Australian Open and Roland Garros, was the result of a survey of more than 3,000 tennis fans globally and included interviews with prominent tennis organizers, coaches, professional players, industry influencers and media.
Social #tech & #analytics based experiences will play a vital role in ushering in the next #digital era in sports. Read the Infosys Tennis Radar report to know how sports can adapt the latest tech to improve user experience https://t.co/1czQkhmaur pic.twitter.com/XX4VdcMfmc
— Infosys (@Infosys) February 25, 2020
At the recreational level, phone apps in many countries are helping drive play. The app Tennis Connect allows users to schedule courts and invite others to play, while Tennis Australia’s “Book a Court” platform enables players to book a court anywhere, anytime, and pay via mobile phone. France’s “Ten Up” app launched in April of last year and has more than 200,000 downloads.
“Tennis doesn’t resonate with people if access to playing and watching the game isn’t made easy,” said Infosys CEO U.B. Pravin Rao. “This research reinforces that tennis can become even more successful if it can increase access to playing, watching, and understanding the game, and to do that, technology — especially social technology and analytics-based experiences — will play a vital role.”
The report concluded that tennis is now less an activity than an experience, “consisting of dispersed, shareable micro-moments both on and off the court.” Recent research by Tennis Australia found the “fun” aspect of the Australian Open atmosphere as the second-most important factor for attendance for fans under the age of 50.
“At the Australian Open we are crystal clear,” said Richard Heaselgrave, chief revenue and experiential officer. “We take our ‘families’ business, our music festival and our food vertical as seriously as we do our tennis. If you don’t, it doesn’t succeed.”
The report says tennis participation has grown 10% globally in the last five years, but is still overcoming a consumer view that the sport is “exclusive” and “difficult to play.”
While tennis has experimented with play format changes over the last 10 years at both the recreational and pro levels, roughly 85% of Generation Z and Millennials responding to the survey said match length is not a primary barrier to engagement with the sport.
Also analytics-based experiences improve enjoyment for 83% of fans surveyed according to the Tennis Radar research.
“At Roland-Garros, we believe innovation, social technology and analytics-based experiences have a key role to play to make tennis more accessible and more engaging to the existing and new generations of tennis fans,” said Michael Tonge, director of sponsorship, hospitality and ticketing for the French Tennis Federation.
For a full copy of the report, visit www.infosys.com.