NTT DATA Sets New Standard for Sports Fan Engagement

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NTT DATA announced it will be transforming the fan experience at The 152nd Open being played from 14th to 21st July at Royal Troon. As the official IT provider for one of the most prestigious golf Championships, NTT DATA has been pushing the boundaries of the fan experience for over a decade. This year, NTT DATA introduces advanced innovations designed to deliver engagement and immersion for fans, wherever they are.

Fans will benefit from real-time data and intelligence as well as state-of-the-art live video and data displays on the iconic NTT DATA Wall. Fans will also get to experience GenAI-powered Digital Human technology, and engage with ShotView, a digital twin technology platform. These advancements are underpinned by a transformative Private 5G network, ensuring these complex technologies are connected with the fastest, most resilient and secure network available, with cloud technologies taken to the edge.



Onsite, the NTT DATA Wall redefines fan interactions with The Open, using cutting-edge Hollywood-grade CGI. Data insights and ball-tracking statistics will now be rendered, in real-time, alongside engaging, clear visualisations. This hyper-realistic rendering will be provided with real-world lighting, shadows, and textures (even down to blades of grass) taking the digital twin to the next level. The 2024 edition of the 20-meter-wide LED screen in the spectator village will draw fans to the action like never before.


AI-powered Digital Human, Lottie

Returning this year is NTT DATA’s AI-powered Digital Human, Lottie. Lottie is the future of spectator sport and customer service, delivering interaction and engagement through a blend of on-the-spot, real-time insights and updates from the golf course, statistical data and deep knowledge of the rules and history of the sport. It delivers a dynamic experience that both educates and entertains through a unified conversational interface powered by advanced GenAI. Lottie’s visual representation has been improved, ensuring more human-like movements and a physically accurate avatar, enhancing the realism of interactions. These technologies underline the new multi-modal approach to GenAI technology and use the latest advances from NTT DATA.


5G-Powered Experience

Underpinning all of this onsite technology is a new Private 5G network, which has been introduced to The Open for the first time by NTT DATA and its strategic partner. This marks a significant technological advancement in network infrastructure at the event. It will deliver high bandwidth and reliability, bringing cloud to the edge, for applications requiring super low latency compute, storage, and networking.


ShotView and Spectator Immersion

With over 32,000 individual golf shots taken during the four-day Championship, NTT DATA’s ShotView activation, powered by digital twin technology, analyses vast amounts of data. It tracks ball lie, player performance and course conditions, along with delivering accurate representations of the Royal Troon golf course. The digital twin technology can record ball position to as little as half a golf ball’s width. All this delivers a “player’s perspective” of strategies and decisions made during each stage of the Championship, enabling fans, commentators and analysts to see through the eyes of the professionals.

Launched at The 150th Open in 2022, ShotView now offers an improved user interface and enriched data visualisation tools that provide live, actionable insights, making professional golf more accessible and engaging for audiences worldwide.


Bringing Sustainability to The Open

Building on last year’s initiatives, sustainability is a key focus for NTT DATA at The Open. In 2023, the NTT DATA Wall provided up to the minute sustainability insights, such as use of on-site water refill stations, plastic saving by reusing water bottles, travel by public transport, and purchase of low-carbon meals. This helped fans understand how they can reduce their personal environmental impact and support The R&A in staging a more sustainable Championship. A collaborative research project between The R&A, NTT DATA and Cardiff University, titled “Sports Events as Agents of Behaviour Change” found that 80% of fans agreed they would feel proud if they contributed to reducing the environmental impact of golf tournaments – a 10% increase from the previous year. In addition, 80% of spectators who saw the sustainability insights on our DATA Wall agreed they were informative, easy to understand and relevant. This project is providing valuable data points for this important initiative and evidence of its impact.

“NTT DATA is revolutionising the fan experience, on and off the course, at The Open with cutting-edge technology,” says Mona Charif, Global CMO, NTT DATA.

“In partnership with The R&A, we are catalysing change by applying our sports and entertainment expertise and integrating our latest advancements in technology. From 5G technology to digital analytics, we’re enabling deeper, more dynamic insights into every aspect of the game. Our innovative partnership will have a lasting impact, not just on transforming the fan experience, but on the planet. We’re pioneering new methods to provide sustainability information and interactive experiences, setting new standards for how sports can engage, inform, and inspire audiences worldwide.”

Professor Steve Otto, Chief Technology Officer, The R&A adds, “NTT DATA’s long-term partnership enables us to develop new ways to harness the opportunities of modern golf championships, from commercial viability to sustainability and broadening fan engagement. Their insights, and innovative application of technology, particularly the use of data, not only makes golf more accessible and appealing but also ensure The Open is poised to thrive for many years to come. Amidst environmental sustainability efforts, digital solutions like the NTT DATA Wall transforms how fans interact with The Open, while the Digital Human, Lottie, showcases what the fan experience of the future could look like, maintaining golf’s vibrancy in today’s rapidly changing world.”

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