Britain's tennis body works with Deloitte on digital innovation

07 August 2020 4 min. read
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The Lawn Tennis Association has collaborated with Deloitte to open up tennis through digital innovation. As professional sport continues looking for ways to maintain top competitions amid the coronavirus pandemic, the project will see the consultancy work to mitigate bans on crowds via new methods of audience engagement during live tennis events.

Every industry is currently experiencing a prolonged period of uncertainty thanks to the coronavirus outbreak of 2020; even the once seemingly recession-proof world of elite level sport. With restrictions still applying to mass crowd events to prevent the spread of Covid-19, top organisations in footballrugby and tennis, are having to draw up plans for new ways in which fans can interact with events, especially as new seasons are now fast approaching.

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is the UK’s national governing body of tennis, working to both govern and grow tennis, from grassroots participation through to the professional game. The organisation had recently been working towards a vision of “Tennis Opened Up,” looking to improve tennis by making it relevant, accessible, welcoming and enjoyable to a broader cross-section of society. Unfortunately, the coronavirus lockdown has notably set those aspirations back in 2020. 

Britain's tennis body works with Deloitte on digital innovation

In order to help push for increased engagement with tennis amid lockdown – as well as helping fans to interact with competitive events without being physically present – the LTA has teamed up with Deloitte to leverage digital transformation for the sake of growing tennis in Britain. The organisations will work together to devise new digital initiatives to encourage anyone of any age, background or level of fitness to pick-up a racket.

Chris Pollard, LTA Head of Strategy and Innovation commented, “We are excited to announce this collaboration with Deloitte and will work with them to boost engagement with tennis through new technologies, learning from their expertise in digital transformation. For too long, tennis participation numbers have suffered as a result of how difficult it can be to find a court, a coach or someone to play with. Through the launch of these new digital tools, we aim to make booking a tennis court as simple as ordering a takeaway.”

Deloitte will help to develop and improve the LTA’s digital platforms to ensure that tennis players, coaches, volunteers and fans are easily able to access personalised information on the facilities available, as well as the governing body’s latest content and upcoming events. The professional services giant will also run a development programme for LTA Accredited Coaches across the UK who wish to further enhance their business skills, supporting them to grow resilient businesses with digital capabilities, while making it easier for coaches to manage their accreditation and access online training modules based on their career objectives.

Mark Lillie, Global Technology Strategy and Transformation Leader at Deloitte, said, "Growing participation in sport will help our society overcome significant challenges, including by improving physical and mental health, building new skills and creating new social opportunities. Tennis is a sport with a fantastic history and we’re looking forward to working with the LTA to ensure that more people can enjoy the benefits of the game in the future. Digital platforms will create new ways for tennis players, coaches and fans to engage with the sport and benefit from the opportunities it brings.”

Additionally, Deloitte will be working with the LTA to drive inclusivity through web design, constructing and coding existing and new web pages to make the LTA’s website accessible to all. On top of this, the LTA and Deloitte will also explore digital solutions to improve the sustainability of the governing body, for instance by making membership cards, tickets and other material available digitally.

Tim Bridge, Director in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, added, “Encouraging a new generation to the tennis court will require more support of clubs, businesses and players themselves to make the most of new technologies available. Working closely with the LTA, we can ensure that new technologies are developed using insight and expertise on the wants, needs and aspirations of the tennis community in mind, boosting adoption and ensuring these tools support the growth of the sport for decades to come.”