The Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO)’s technology partnership with NTT is set to see a number of the company’s solutions and data tools deployed at the 2022 Tour de France Femmes.
NTT has served as the technology partner of the men’s event for the past eight years and will now offer its services to the women’s edition of the marquee cycling race. NTT will provide live rider tracking throughout the event via the Tour de France Femmes’ ‘race centre’ platform, as well as offering the use of its predictive modelling strategy.
The contract includes powering the ‘@letourdata’ digital content channel, which is also used in broadcasts. Through the Tour de France Femmes’ partnership with Strava, NTT will also provide data comparisons between professional riders and amateurs for the purpose of content creation.
Additionally, the technology firm will launch an array of new digital experiences to engage fans both watching at home and in attendance. Among these are the ‘Digital Human’ interactive kiosk activation at every stage, which features an artificial intelligence (AI) generated human avatar offering race and tourist information at NTT’s travelling technical truck.
On the operations side, as per the men’s race, NTT will create a bespoke digital twin of the event that enables staff to gain live visibility of events during the race, with the aim of increasing efficiency.
NTT’s deal with ASO covers other women’s cycling events in the agency’s portfolio, including Paris-Roubaix Femmes, Flèche Wallonne Femmes, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes.
“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,” said Michele McGuire, vice president of managed services delivery, Europe at NTT.
“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.”
She added: “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 ASO in transforming the famous race.”
Meanwhile, ASO has extended its Canadian broadcast rights agreement for the Tour de France with subscription streaming platform FloSports, with the renewal running from 2024 until 2028.