Yesterday, an innovative marketing campaign created by social media agency We Are Social Paris for global banking and financial services firm BNP Paribas, celebrating the client’s 40th anniversary of partnership with the French Open, was a success and made sports tech history. The “Tweet and Shoot” event allowed tennis fans to train the world’s #8 ranked (France’s #1) player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga using via a Twitter-controlled robot that launched tennis balls at him live on the court.
“Tweet and Shoot”teaser video:
Sports Tech Centric Social Media Campaign
- Three days before this year’s French Open at Roland-Garros on May 23, fans around the world went to http://tweetandshoot.wearetennis.com/ and logged-in via Twitter. At the web site they could drag-and-drop a tennis ball on a virtual on-screen tennis court to adjust the positioning of their shot to challenge Tsonga. The user’s shot was then encoded as a hashtag and placed into a Tweet from them, to which they added a personal message to Tsonga before it was sent.
- The on-court robot, connected to the internet and Twitter via 3G, then selected users’ Tweets at random and fired tennis balls at Tsonga, with each shot mapped precisely to the positioning of each user’s choosing.
- On May 23 at 11:00 am EDT, Tsonga was on the tennis court and took on the shots fired at him by the robot. Fans were able view the event on a live-stream at tweetandshoot.com.wearetennis.com.
40-year Anniversary Web Site
The 40 year sports business relationship between the French Open and BNP Paribas is best demonstrated at their interactive web site. I like the feature that allows a user to pinpoint ‘I Was There’ using their creative technology to tag your seat at Roland-Garros after signing in with a Twitter or Facebook account.
Check out ‘More Stories’ and ‘Best Stories’ to familiarize yourself with the timeline. When you click on More Stories is takes you out of the stadium and into the stars where you have option to click on the constellation cluster of your choosing that takes you inside roland-garros village for a look into what happened at the French Open during that moment in time.
This star caught my Sports Techie eye because I love how the fans are gathered outside to watch the big screen together in 2012: http://40ans.wearetennis.com/en/m/315
All the free video, picture and historical French Open content can be shared via Twitter or Facebook.
I asked these questions several days ago and was promised answers, se la vie:
1. Who is the robotics partner for the social media-controlled robot that is connected to the internet and Twitter via 3G, which is able to fire tennis balls based on encoded hashtags in Tweets sent by social media user?
2. With only two days left in this innovative social media campaign, how has the response been so far in terms of sm metrics?
3. Has Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, French n°1 and World n°8, trained against the robot yet?
4. Is Roland-Garros looking to expand this program in 2014?
5. Did We Are Social Paris and PNB Paribas invent this social media centric campaign together?
6. Could this concept work with doubles tennis?
Sports Techie, We send our virtual community gratitude to We Are Social Paris and BNP Paribas for sharing this sports technology event and history in the making with us. The sports tech history at the French Open over their 40 year partnership with BNP Paribas is highlighted at their web site with engaging tennis content. The Tweet & Shoot live match between the robot and Tsonga using social media and Twitter at #tweetandshoot to program the trajectory of the tennis balls and add fan comments was genius.
If we get responses to our Q&A or the opportunity to ask follow up questions about this unprecedented robotic training match they will get posted here so be sure to check back over the next few weeks of the Grand Slam tournament to see if we have updated this blog accordingly.
The French Open takes place this Sunday, 5/26. Give a warm Sports Techie welcome to new Twitter user Roger Federer at @rogerfederer.
Merci to We Are Social Paris and to PNB Paribas, keep up your brilliant sports technology friendly ways.
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