The European Tour and Tata Communications, a leading global digital infrastructure provider, are launching an innovation contest that calls on start-ups around the world to develop creative new solutions and concepts to enhance the game of golf. The European Tour Innovation Hub with Tata Communications aims to find ideas that can be developed commercially with support from the Tour’s business development team, venture capital (VC) firms and Tata Communications with the winning solution tested in action during the 2020 season.
The competition aims to harness the power of ubiquitous connectivity to address common challenges in golf, stemming from the sheer scale of each course. The ideas might include concepts which enable a truly connected golf course, bring fans closer to the game and enhance their experience or enhance the Tour’s broadcast and production. For example, a solution using IoT or 360° cameras could make it easier for fans onsite to follow several players’ progress across the course at once, take part in contests, benefit from sponsor promotions, or buy refreshments. The ideas could also allow the European Tour to interact with fans in new ways across digital platforms, helping to convert casual followers of golf to die-hard fans and generate new commercial opportunities for the sport and its sponsors.
L-R: Mehul Kapadia, Oliver Wilson, Rufus Hack and Michael Cole
Entries can be submitted via https://www.tatacommunications.com/innovationhub and will be whittled down to a shortlist of three start-ups, to be announced in November 2019. These businesses will then get to attend an immersion workshop in London in February 2020 to develop their ideas further with coaching from VC firms, the European Tour and Tata Communications.
This workshop will culminate in a Dragon’s Den-style pitch and the winner will be decided two weeks after the closure of the workshop. The winner will get a trip to the Hero India Open in Delhi in March 2020, where they will be able to showcase their idea to tech industry leaders. Finally, they will work with the European Tour’s business development team to turn the idea into an application that will be tested in action as a proof-of-concept at a leading European Tour event in 2020.
“The European Tour is at the forefront of innovation through our content, our creative formats and our use of technology, all of which seeks to maximise the fan experience,” said Rufus Hack, Chief Content Officer, European Tour. “For us, the natural next step is to reach out to innovative start-ups to find creative and unique ideas and concepts we can develop together to help us continue to transform out sport globally and drive golf further. We’re all looking forward to seeing what the entrants come up with.”
“Ubiquitous connectivity opens up immense opportunities in golf,” said Michael Cole, Chief Technology Officer, European Tour. “We are looking for an innovative concept that can utilise new technologies and make a real difference to the fan experience, both on site at events and for those following digitally.”
“We’ve seen many sports adopt different digital platforms, but few have been able to maximise their business potential – and that’s what this competition is all about,” said Mehul Kapadia, Global Head of Marketing, Tata Communications. “We’re looking for ideas for solutions that would be truly transformative for golf, not just technologically, but also commercially or operationally, so making a real difference to the bottom line. The winning idea will be one that benefits not just the fans and the European Tour, but the sport’s entire ecosystem. For the winning start-up, the global exposure and more importantly the potential to scale to all European Tour tournaments can be invaluable as well.”
“Innovation through digital technologies enables organisations across sectors – from sports and manufacturing to banking – to drive their growth and remain competitive,” said Tri Pham, Chief Strategy Officer, Tata Communications. “We believe that to innovate successfully, organisations must bring together the right ecosystem of partners. That’s what this competition aims to do. We look forward to leveraging our relationships in the world’s VC and start-up communities to help pave the way for the digital transformation of golf.”
The panel of judges will include Michael Cole, Rufus Hack, Mehul Kapadia and Tri Pham. They will be joined by Oliver Wilson, a professional golfer, winner of 2014 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and a Ryder Cup player.
“It’s great that the European Tour and Tata Communications are creating a way that allows for innovative ideas and concepts to flourish in the world of golf,” said Oliver Wilson. “Whether you are a player, a sponsor or a fan, we all have a shared interest in ensuring we are engaging our fans and driving the game forward. This is a great step that the Tour is making, and as a player, I’m delighted that Tata Communications is partnering with us on this initiative.”
All details including entry format, judging criteria and key dates can be found at https://www.tatacommunications.com/innovationhub.
Tata Communications is the Official Global Connectivity Supplier of the European Tour, bringing video feeds from 46 European Tour tournaments in 31 countries worldwide to 43 broadcasters, reaching close to half a billion golf fans across 5 continents throughout the year. The two organisations also work together to drive innovation in golf. For example, they undertook the world’s first test of live 360° video in 8K Ultra High Definition at the 2018 Sky Sports British Masters to show how virtual reality (VR) applications could enable fans at home and at the course to engage with the action in new ways.
 A company must be incorporated in one of the following jurisdictions: Australia, Brazil, Canada (excluding Quebec), Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States.
+44 (0)7917 173 853
+44 (0) 20 7413 3171
Tata Communications is a leading global digital infrastructure provider that powers today’s fast- growing digital economy.
The company’s customers represent 300 of the Fortune 500 whose digital transformation journeys are enabled by its portfolio of integrated, globally managed services that deliver local customer experiences. Through its network, cloud, mobility, Internet of Things (IoT), collaboration and security services, Tata Communications carries around 30% of the world’s internet routes, and connects businesses to 60% of the world’s cloud giants and 4 out of 5 mobile subscribers.
The company’s capabilities are underpinned by its global network, which is the world’s largest wholly owned subsea fibre backbone and a Tier-1 IP network.
Tata Communications Limited is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India, and it serves customers in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide through its technology capabilities and partnerships.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call James Matheson or Cody Edwards on 0131 226 2363.
EUROPEAN TOUR COMMUNICATIONS | Wentworth Drive | Virginia Water | Surrey | GU25 4LX | UK
Certain words and statements in this release concerning Tata Communications and its prospects, and other statements, including those relating to Tata Communications’ expected financial position, business strategy, the future development of Tata Communications’ operations, and the general economy in India, are forward-looking statements. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including financial, regulatory and environmental, as well as those relating to industry growth and trend projections, which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of Tata Communications, or industry results, to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from such forward-looking statements include, among others, failure to increase the volume of traffic on Tata Communications’ network; failure to develop new products and services that meet customer demands and generate acceptable margins; failure to successfully complete commercial testing of new technology and information systems to support new products and services, including voice transmission services; failure to stabilize or reduce the rate of price compression on certain of the company’s communications services; failure to integrate strategic acquisitions and changes in government policies or regulations of India and, in particular, changes relating to the administration of Tata Communications’ industry; and, in general, the economic, business and credit conditions in India. Additional factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from such forward-looking statements, many of which are not in Tata Communications’ control, include, but are not limited to, those risk factors discussed in Tata Communications Limited’s Annual Reports. The Annual Reports of Tata Communications Limited are available at www.tatacommunications.com. Tata Communications is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements.