Deloitte and Team Dimension Data have partnered up to develop a pair of live analytics applications for Tour de France and are promoting them via an integrated, multi-platform campaign led by online video.
Working in harness with partner Team Dimension Data and African bike charity Qhubeka, Deloitte has created a pair of apps – Deloitte Smart Map and Deloitte Race Monitor – with the aim of helping the riders make critical decisions during real-time racing and enabling fans to understand the factors behind in-race strategic decision making.
Both apps collate and analyse hundreds of sets of open source data – including athlete performance, course and weather conditions and rival tactics – which are then displayed on a visually appealing front end platform that can be accessed by the UCI team’s sporting director using a mobile, tablet or laptop.
The ‘Race Monitor’ tracks the evolution of the race in-stage: analyzing factors such as breakaways and accidents, as well as offering an all-round status review of each rider to identify those with ‘a potential competitive advantage’ in order to help team directors understand the overall situation in real-time and to make informed mid-race decisions.
While Deloitte’s ‘Smart Map’ is essentially a mapping visualization application that charts the route and highlights features (from climbs to hairpins) that necessitate fast tactical decisions.
The apps were initially beta tested by the team at the Tour de Yorkshire and the Critérium du Dauphiné, before being fully launched for Team Dimension Data (for Qhubeka) during the 2017 Tour de France (1 to 23 July).
The campaign promoting the partnership and the apps launched just ahead of the Tour and runs across both the team and the professional services giant’s digital and social platforms – including Twitter and YouTube (linked by the sponsor’s tagline hashtag #DeloitteImpact).
Deloitte is also leveraging its partnership through the race itself with stage-relevant real-time and low latency social pieces across its own channels (see Twitter) and the initiative dovetails with Deloitte’s umbrella ‘ahead of the technology race’ positioning.
“Deloitte shares a common vision with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka to advance the sport of cycling through technology innovation,” said Deloitte managing partner of global consulting Jim Moffatt.
Moffatt continued by saying, “Deloitte is thrilled to provide leading digital capabilities to help the team both train and race smarter, while gaining competitive advantage through the use of advanced analytics. I have no doubt Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will accomplish great things this year. Deloitte looks forward to the continued partnership while supporting Qhubeka’s social impact mission.”
Mike Manby, lead partner for performance analytics in Deloitte UK adds, “Professional sports teams have long been using data to make incremental gains in performance. The challenge, across all sports disciplines, is how to obtain and analyze live data in real-time, as this is the step change required to make strategic decisions during a race or competitive match,”
“This challenge is most pronounced in competitive cycling, where teams have to contend with varying terrain and demanding environments over long distances. Deloitte’s real-time analytics platform is truly unique and a potential game-changer for professional sport. It will provide team directors with critical information to make informed strategic decisions mid-race, and this could be the difference between winning and losing.”
Doug Ryder, team principal of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka continues,“I have been so impressed by the capabilities that Deloitte has brought to our team. We have already seen the positive impact it has had on our training and race performance.”
“We truly believe that Deloitte’s ability to deliver a real-time solution enabled by cutting-edge technology will contribute greatly to our success as we continue to build a world-class team.”
This kind of team-relevant, performance enhancing technology seems a sensible tactical route for a partnership between a professional services behemoth and a tech-backed pro racing team.
But, even for a B2B alliance, whilst it looks certain to enhance the team’s performance, does it truly enhance the fan experience?
Perhaps, with a few tweaks it could have been more a more fan friendly utility?
Whilst the partnership is primarily a strategy based around Deloitte showcasing how it can apply its technology skills across fields such as data analytics, hybrid cloud and future workspaces, perhaps it could benefit from IBM’s more fan-friendly B2B sports partnership approach?
This 2017 tie-up follows on from the pro cycling team’s tech-led work at the 2016 race (see video). Indeed, Deloitte is building a strong position in cycling: for example, another pillar in its 2017 bike-related stable is its title branded Ride Across Britain initiative (www.rideacrossbritain.com, see video).
This has seen it sponsor the event – which has seen 4500 riders (including plenty of employees and clients) take on the 900 mile challenge – for the last 7 years ago and help raise more than £1.8m for charities through its ballot riders, clients and hosts.
Meanwhile, Dimension Data’s work around the 2017 ranges from its team to analytics and tech experience enhancements for the whole race itself (and driving people to its bespoke Tour digital hub at http://www2.dimensiondata.com/en/tourdefrance).