August 18, 2016

The WTA is one of the most successful female sporting brands. The series has gone from strength to strength, helping promote not just women’s tennis, but women’s sport as a whole.

The players are remarkable athletes and the organisation is as well, as it was founded on those ideals – to create a better future for female tennis players, women as a whole, and people across the globe.

In 1970, Billie Jean King signed a famous $1 contract to start the WTA. Today the players are playing for over $137 million on the WTA, the global leader in professional women’s sport.

A Leader in Innovation

The WTA is not only a leader in female sports, but also in innovation. The WTA introduced on court coaching in 2008, designed to further enhance the entertainment value of women’s tennis to television and live viewers.

SAP are at the heart of this. It’s ‘Tennis Analytics for Coaches powered by SAP HANA’ tool allows the WTA to deliver deep analytics in real-time to coaches at WTA events, allowing them to interact with the athletes during the match, instead of waiting to discuss strategy afterwards.

Coaches are armed with tablets containing the analytics as the match unfolds; and they are able to take this information onto the court and discuss it with their players.

The app shows tendencies; it shows the speed and direction of a serve, speed of strokes, where the stroke pattern is going, and court coverage. Coaches and players can see what’s trending, the successes on the court, and the failures… All updated while the match is taking place, to help shape the outcome.

Putting the Fan First


“We view our fans as customers,” said WTA CEO Steve Simon. “It’s our responsibility and priority to deliver them the best value for their entertainment dollar. As the world of consuming product is changing in front of us, this allows us to place our fans and the media as our number one priority.”

“The modern fan of 2016 wants real-time data and behind the scenes information. “They want to feel like they’re with the player,” Simon continued. “They want to know what the players are seeing. They want to see the strategy as it’s unfolding in front of them.”

“Running SAP HANA is definitely making it easier for fans to enjoy us,” said Simon. “It’s giving them the in-depth background information that they’re looking for. No longer is the fan just looking for pictures; they’re looking for the story behind the pictures, and SAP is helping us provide that.”

Future Enhancements

Not just content at providing analytics, in 2017, SAP will help the WTA expand their broadcast operations.

The WTA will roll out a brand new broadcast strategy, enabling the live broadcast of every WTA singles match, as well as the semi-finals and finals of every doubles match.

All of the broadcast data will be hosted on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

“The goal of the WTA, which is currently the number one women’s professional sports league in the world, is not just to be the number one women’s sports league in the world, but to be competitive with all sports. Our partnership with SAP is going to allow us to build audience because of the stories that we’re able to tell, and thus be competitive in that marketplace,” said Simon.

The WTA’s goals of improving women’s tennis, and allowing more people than ever to watch it, are not just critical to tennis, but to women’s sport as a whole. The better informed fans and players are only adds to that growth. Other sports may well soon follow suit.