In February 2013 the RFU signed a new five-year strategic agreement with leading global company IBM, which includes developing an advanced CRM platform and enhancements for fans. The new partnership between the RFU and IBM coincides with the launch of IBM TryTracker on, an innovative platform jointly developed to offer in-game stats and live insight to enrich the fan experience.

The multi-faceted partnership will also use IBM’s expertise in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to support the RFU to communicate with rugby supporters and participants in more effective and personalised ways to further benefit the grassroots game and enhance performance at the elite level.

IBM has a strong track record of working with sports teams around the world. In tennis, for instance, combining real-time and historical data with breakthrough technology, IBM transformed the experience for fans of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. IBM also provides an Intelligence Operations Centre that helps the Miami Dolphins’ offer more innovative services to fans by analysing millions of tweets and revealing team sentiment.

IBM is tapping the power of predictive analytics to help deliver insights into everything touching performance, sports injuries, key plays and more. By delivering these insights directly to fans on their mobile devices, IBM is driving a smarter sporting experience, giving consumers and millions of sports fans around the world the tools to a more enjoyable game.

In both business and sport, IBM is changing the game – on the court, in the stands and at the pro shop. Everywhere you look in sport, there is data. Data that can provide insight into the performance of rugby, tennis, football, baseball players and golfers and predict and prevent injury on the pitch and help a rugby or football stadium create a better fan experience.

Sport is often referred to as a metaphor for life. But with Big Data impacting so many aspects of the game, it wouldn't be a stretch to suggest that sport is becoming a metaphor for business. Major sporting events are now becoming living labs demonstrating how Big Data transforms all aspects of the game, and uncovering new ways for fans to experience their favourite professional sporting events.

The world of sport is finding new ways to uncover hidden insights from Big Data to up its game, and analytics continues to change how sport is being viewed and played, ensuring that fans have a complete interactive experience so they don’t miss a moment.