NTT Ltd., a leading IT infrastructure and services company, is using technology and innovation to equally enhance the fan experience across both the Tour de France and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.
The 2022 event will see the inaugural women’s race which will start on the Champs-Élysées on July 24th2022, prior to the conclusion of the men’s race on the same day. The women’s race will feature 24 teams of six riders and will conclude on July 31st 2022 in La Super Planche des Belles Filles. NTT has been the official technology partner of the Tour de France for the past eight years.
For the first time ever, and at a time when interest in women’s cycling is on the rise, NTT will bring fans closer to the action and shine a light on this notable occasion through the implementation of real-time tracking of the riders, the Race Center and its predictive modelling strategy to support the race. The model also includes @letourdata, the data-driven content channel that helps tell the race’s stories over social media and broadcast. Rider and team profiles will uncover unique insights into the women’s pro peloton.
In addition to this, NTT alongside ASO will deliver a host of new and enhanced digital experiences to engage fans around the world, both at home and along the roadside. To do this, NTT has developed an interactive kiosk featuring an AI-generated realistic human avatar, trained on the relevant race and tourist information. This technology will be deployed at the official fan store at the Grand Depart in Copenhagen and in NTT’s Technical Truck at the end of every stage.
Last year, NTT created a digital twin of the event, which enabled staff to gain real-time visibility and ultimately streamline operations to ensure the continuity and resilience of the race. This year, the technology has enhanced connectivity to provide smarter event operations, enabling quicker, more informed decisions in a highly complex and ever-changing environment.
NTT’s live storytelling channel, @letourdata, in collaboration with Strava, will be bringing real-time comparisons between amateurs, pros, and King of the Mountain (or fastest known times) to social media and broadcast during the race.
“With female cycling on the rise as we saw through the 2020 edition of La Course by Le Tour de France avec FDJ with over 30 million TV audience viewers, we’re incredibly proud to continue to help widen the fan base and be part of this historic milestone for female cycling. There is still much more work to be done to achieve equality in cycling, but we’re extremely passionate about doing what we can to increase the accessibility of the sport. Our technology means we can bring the action to more fans than ever before,” says Michele McGuire, Vice President of Managed Services Delivery, Europe at NTT Ltd.
“When it comes to the technology, both races are highly dynamic and require access to real-time information to ensure continuous and smooth operations while creating more informed and engaged fans. NTT’s full stack of solutions and expertise will continue to support the A.S.O. in transforming the famous race,” McGuire adds.
“At ASO, we’re extremely proud to be launching Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift and to be able to count on key technical partners such as NTT. Our partnership with NTT is well known for bringing the fans closer to the action. 2022 marks a momentous occasion for women’s cycling, and fans around the world are extremely excited to witness the first edition of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift,” said Julien Goupil, Media & Partnerships Director at ASO.