Alibaba Group, the only Chinese top-tier sponsor of the Olympic Games, will try to assist the sporting occasion undergo a digital transformation via the usage of its sophisticated cloud computing technology.
Digitalising the Games will enable closer interactions between fans and athletes and help make sure that the sporting event is still successful, Alibaba creator and executive chairman Jack Ma Yun stated on Saturday at the opening of the corporation’s technology showcase in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in which the 2018 Winter Games have been held.
“Our long-term venture with an Olympic Games is the best showcase for Alibaba, both in relation to what we stand for as a company and how we could utilize our technology to reimagine the Olympic Games for the digital era,” Ma explained. “We think the future is a much better solution for the Olympic Games to maintain its wealth”.
Alibaba is sponsoring popular sporting events such as the Olympics and soccer tournaments to increase its global profile. The Hangzhou-based firm counts almost 600 million people using its own shopping apps every month and has operations in more than 200 countries.
Alibaba set up a sports arm in 2015 to market sports and in 2016 declared it will invest US$100 million within the next 10 years to popularise rugby in China. Back in November 2017, soccer’s world governing body Fifa called Alibaba Cloud as the official presenting partner for the Fifa Club World Cup until 2022.
“Alibaba’s venture with IOC could significantly enhance its brand sway in addition to the internationalisation of its cloud and e-commerce company,” explained Charlie Dai, a principal analyst at Forrester. The tie-up also helps IOC using its reforms of the Games, ” he explained.
Alibaba, that includes a long-term partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) via 2028, unveiled on Saturday its own Cloud ET Sports Brain, a package of cloud-based and artificial intelligence (AI) based services.
Those programs will be used from the Olympics to better manage events, such as access management, safety and crowd management. Prices will come down significantly as computers do the tasks which were previously managed by humans.
Included in the venture, Alibaba could sell authorised Olympic-related merchandise and promote the international event through its different platforms.
The tie-up using Alibaba will permit the Games to become more sustainable and popular, IOC president Thomas Bach stated at the Alibaba occasion.
“Sometimes we see that we have countless fans during the Olympic Games but following the games the curiosity is falling,” he explained.
The 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony was held a day before.