The Big Interview: Jaguar Land Rover/Feel Wimbledon

06 Jul 2015

By: Sport Industry Group

Jaguar Land Rover marketing director Laura Schwab talks to sportindustry.biz about partnering with The Championships, Wimbledon and the technology behind Feel Wimbledon.

What attracted you to Wimbledon as a brand?

Obviously, Wimbledon is an iconic global brand that represents the epitome of not only tennis but the English summer. For us, we felt it was the perfect fit for two great British brands to be connected to one another

Wimbledon doesn’t have sponsorship hoardings in the ground. Has that forced you to be more creative in your marketing campaign?

Wimbledon has been excellent to work with. For us, the demand to be more creative in our marketing was there already. We wanted to create something that would lead people to notice there’s something different about Wimbledon this year, a different edge to the two weeks.

The culmination of this is Feel Wimbledon, which measures real-time crowd reactions to all the action at Wimbledon. How does it do this?

What Feel Wimbledon does is give you a sense of what it’s like to be at Wimbledon. We’ve got sensors that we’ve put around Wimbledon, on the courts and on Henman Hill, and we also have a group of people with wearable technology and real-time social media. We take all the information from the wristbands, the sensors and what’s happening on social media and create a feeling vector that records what it actually feels around Wimbledon.

It’s a really great way to record three different types of data and collate it to give one overall sentiment around what’s happening at Wimbledon and how it actually feels to be there.

What is the technology behind the initiative?

Feel Wimbledon will be recording everything from the size and temperature of crowds to the volume of clapping.

As for the wristbands, they will be recording the wearers’ heart rate and pulse, which links to how you’re feeling about the action in front of you, be it excited, nervous etc.

We’ll be recording social media because people will be tweeting whilst they’re at Wimbledon. We will collate these tweets and further gauge the emotions of the crowd.

Feel Wimbledon will pull these measurements together and record how it feels right now at Wimbledon and show how people are reacting to what’s happening, right this second.

This real time data will also be accompanied by real time imagery of whatever causes the reaction that we’ve observed through our data.

How you be publishing these findings?

We’ve got the hashtag #FeelWimbledon and the website feelwimbledon.co.uk. It also sits on all the Wimbledon platforms so it will be on the Wimbledon website and their app.

For us, it’s about giving back to all the people who are excited about the tournament. They will be going to the Wimbledon website and app and we want to change and improve the way they engage with the tournament.

We’re also going to be pushing the imagery and data on digital billboards throughout London, like Canary Wharf and other big iconic places on a live feed so people can see what’s happening at Wimbledon as they’re commuting across London.

What makes Feel Wimbledon different from previous attempts to measure crowd reactions?

What makes Feel Wimbledon different is the type of data that we’re pulling in. We’re not just wearable technology but a combination of wearables, motion sensors and social media. In the past, people have just looked at individual reactions through wearable technology whereas I feel that our use of motion sensors and social media will allow us to measure how the crowd is reacting to the action as a whole.

This is a fantastic combination of different kind of data culminating in one feed. 

What are your plans for the future of the technology?

I would love to think that we could keep it going at Wimbledon. Most people in the UK won’t be able to come to Wimbledon so it really feels like we’re giving back to all the fans who love tennis and love The Championships.

After Wimbledon, we will also look at how we can expand all the data we’ve recorded into more events that we do, especially through wearable technology as it becomes ever more prevalent

Ultimately, what do you hope to gain from the partnership?

I think the partnership says so much about both brands and we’re so happy about that. It’s a partnership of two fantastic British brands and we want to showcase that.

For Jaguar, the use of data and technology really speaks of the modernity of the brand. To be on the forefront of an initiative like Feel Wimbledon really says a lot about who we are and what we do.

You can follow Feel Wimbledon on social media through #FeelWimbledon or online at http://www.feelwimbledon.co.uk