The first-ever Masters Tournament to be played in November is set to tee off in a fanless environment at Augusta National this week. IBM, the exclusive digital partner of the Masters, is unveiling My Group, an innovative digital feature enabling new levels of fan engagement and personalized digital viewing experience of the 2020 Masters golf tournament.
The ground-breaking new My Group feature will allow patrons, anywhere in the world, to create personalized groups of players and watch every shot, on every hole, from all of their favorite golfers from the 2020 Masters Tournament. My Group, which runs on IBM Cloud, is available globally in the Masters Tournament app and on Masters.com.
This marks the first time in professional golf that patrons will be able to create customized “feature groups” of golfers in the app, and access video of every shot by those players throughout the Tournament.
With more than 90 golfers from dozens of countries around the world competing in the 2020 Masters, My Group offers a personalized video feed, giving patrons access to every player’s rounds in near real-time. My Group also features highlights and regular updates from the Tournament leaders, and must-see shots from other golfers, as they happen.
The technology being used for the Tournament this year builds on IBM’s Watson-powered artificial intelligence (AI) solutions developed for previous Masters, which have analyzed data including traditional golf statistics, ball tracking data, crowd noise and more. During the 2019 Tournament in Augusta Georgia, nearly 20,000 individual video clips of players’ shots were captured and analyzed by Watson. This year, new AI models were developed using data from last year’s Tournament.
For patrons familiar with the Tournament, the “Masters roar” is an iconic indicator of an important shot. Without patrons onsite this year, broadcasters and digital content teams would face a new challenge: quickly and accurately identifying the most important shots. Using IBM Watson Studio and its AutoAI and machine learning capabilities, data from those past shots will serve as a baseline for Watson to generate a hypothetical patron excitement score to identify this year’s “must-see shots.”
“The digital experience of sports has never been more important than it is right now,” said Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President, IBM Cloud and Data Platforms. “We’re proud to put the power of IBM’s hybrid cloud and AI technologies on display through the My Group feature on the Masters app and website. And we are honored to enable millions of Masters patrons around the world to enjoy the storied tradition of this magical Tournament.”