A winning partnership with The R&A: How NTT DATA has revolutionised the fan experience at The Open | NTT DATA

Mon, 17 July 2023

A winning partnership with The R&A: How NTT DATA has revolutionised the fan experience at The Open

Building strong and long-lasting relationships with our clients is of the utmost importance for us at NTT DATA. As such, we work closely with our clients to understand their unique needs and objectives and to deliver tailored solutions that drive tangible value and measurable impact.

One such example is our decade-long partnership with The R&A, the leading body within the world of golf that engages and supports activities to ensure it is a thriving sport for all on a global scale. Through this partnership, we have revolutionised the fan experience at The Open, the world's most prestigious golf tournament. By leveraging our cutting-edge technology and our insight into fan behaviour, with The R&A's deep understanding of the sport and 151 years of the event itself, we have created a personalised and immersive experience that has set a new standard in sports fan engagement.

Driving digital transformation through collaboration

Collaboration is a key strategy for driving digital transformation, allowing organisations to leverage the expertise, innovation, and resources of others to accelerate their journey towards growth, efficiency, and new business opportunities. When the partnership between The R&A and NTT DATA began in 2013, NTT DATA was expanding in Europe and looking to showcase the power of its technology across industries, while The R&A was on a mission to digitally transform its fan experience in order to broaden its scope.

The R&A’s purpose is to make golf more accessible, more appealing and more inclusive and to be responsible for upholding the traditions of golf while embracing change and breaking down barriers to progress. It recognised that the way fans engage while participating and watching the sport is a key influencing factor in achieving this goal, with the transformative power of technology the key to realising this revolution.

Together, The R&A and NTT DATA combine deep expertise with rich history and a desire to innovate and create meaningful change. This has resulted in a continuous exploration innovative ways to engage with fans, enhance the overall fan experience, and create new opportunities for participation, growth, and engagement within the sport.

With no prior first-hand golf industry experience, the most important step for NTT DATA was to take the time to fully comprehend how The Open operated. We spent a significant amount of time studying and analysing the Championship to gain an understanding of what worked well and what could be improved upon.

Our objective for The Open was clear: to improve the overall fan experience. While the execution of this project would ultimately differ greatly from the typical transformation projects we work on, once we had the background insight, we applied our standard practices for working closely with The R&A to identify areas for improvement. By collaborating and leveraging our expertise in technology, data analytics, and digital innovation, we were able to implement a range of solutions that enhanced the fan experience at The Open.

Over the years, these improvements have included everything from better Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity to innovative fan engagement experiences that keep attendees onsite, as well as fans at home entertained and engaged throughout the event.

Revolutionising the fan experience at The 151st Open

Golf is a sport has a deep data heritage, with millions of data points influencing every aspect of the game. From the slopes on the green to pin placement, wind strength, and player performance history, every detail can impact the outcome of a competition.

These variables are what make golf so intriguing, and having access to data-driven insights enhances the fan experience by providing a more nuanced understanding of the game. Details matter, and the more data fans have at their fingertips, the more immersive and engaging their experience becomes.

At The 151st Open, there are 156 competitors playing the par 72 course on Thursday and Friday, with approximately 70 making the weekend cut and competing for the Claret Jug. That totals more than 32,000 shots, each representing an individual strategy and execution from a player at the top of their game. As such, data insights are crucial. These insights present an accurate picture of everything going on across the course and provide fans with a deeper understanding of a player's performance and insights into how the entire Championship is shaping up.

But we don’t stop at gathering these vast amounts of information and insights about game. It's only by transforming this data into compelling and relatable narratives that fans can truly connect with, and engage with the sport on a deeper level. Through this approach, we have helped The R&A to create more emotional connections with their fans, inspire action, and drive growth and success in the sport. It is through this approach that we developed ShotView, a digital-twin powered technology which tracks every shot, player and hole throughout the Championship, delivering these insightful, educational, inspirational, exciting and engaging stories.

An unparalleled experience driven by NTT DATA

With NTT DATA's cutting-edge Data Experience, fans now have unprecedented control over how to engage with and enjoy their favourite sport. Through our digital transformation expertise, we've continually delivered the most immersive experience possible for golf fans, culminating this year in an offering that's never been seen at any other major. The work achieved for The R&A is reflective of how we approach all projects. NTT DATA has a track record of consistently delivering value and impact, thanks to our commitment to innovation, collaboration, and customer-centric solutions. We're passionate about applying innovative technologies in a variety of settings and learning from different industries to enhance transformations and accelerate value for clients.

By leveraging our deep industry expertise, technical capabilities, and data-driven approach, NTT DATA can identify key business challenges and develop customised solutions that meet the specific needs of its clients. Whether it's driving digital transformation initiatives, improving operational efficiency, or enhancing customer experiences, we approach each project with a focus on delivering measurable results, as we have done with The R&A.

We're excited to once again be the official IT provider for The Open and look forward to providing fans with the best experience to date while also showcasing how these technologies can be applied in a broader business setting.

The Open takes place at Royal Liverpool from the 20th – 23rd July, 2023. 


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