Alibaba Cloud, founded in 2009, is a global leader in cloud computing and artificial intelligence, providing services to thousands of enterprises, developers and government organisations in more than 200 countries and regions. Committed to the success of its customers, Alibaba Cloud provides reliable and high security cloud computing and digital technology capabilities as part of its online solutions.
“We are focusing on sustainable development and innovation,” Kevin Li, Head of International Sports Industry Department, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence said at Host City on 7 December 2021.
According to IDC and Gartner, Alibaba Cloud is the number one public cloud provider in China and APAC, and number three in the world.
In January 2017 Alibaba Cloud became the official cloud services partner of the Olympics.
“Since then we have been continuously supporting to drive the digital transformation of the Olympics,” said Li.
In 2018 Alibaba unveiled the cloud data centre for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games and OBS Cloud with Olympic Broadcasting Services. In 2019 Alibaba Cloud became the official partner of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games and helped to support the first Asian games on cloud. And in 2020, Alibaba Cloud announced its support of Le Club Paris 2024 to enable fans to interact and engage with the Olympics. And in 2021, the most important milestone was to support Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which was delivered for the first time on cloud.
“Our teams are working to provide cloud technology support to Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, which will take place in February 2022. As a worldwide Olympic partner we share a vision with the IOC of using cloud technology and digital intelligence to improve the decision making of Games operations and create unique digital journey experience of Olympic sports fans.
“We believe technology will make the Games more inclusive and accessible to people of different genders, races and age around the world, all united by the Games."
Breakthroughs at Tokyo 2020
“When we look back at Tokyo 2020, breakthroughs in digitalisation were made at every moment fuelled by leading cloud-based technologies through Alibaba Cloud in partnership with IOC,” said Li.
“Alibaba helped IOC to integrate official digital channels of the Olympic games into the new olympics.com platform.
“Alibaba and the IOC released the cloud press conference platform, enabling the media to easily watch all press conferences on the cloud.
“We launched the cloud intelligence heatstroke prediction system with the Tokyo organising committee, to reduce the probability of a heatstroke.
“Alibaba Cloud supported OBS to launch the Olympic broadcasting cloud for the first time, using cloud technology to fully support ultra high definition and high dynamic Olympic broadcasting services.
“Through the digital cloud cheer platform, Make the Beat, we can cheer on the cloud and encourage athletes from all countries.
Digital operation, competition, communication and experience
“When we overview all these digital innovations based on practices by Alibaba Cloud in the Olympic Games, we can identify four domains in more general sports digitalisation. The four domains are: digital operation, digital competition, digital communication and digital experience. Each domain is composed with corresponding business solutions for specific stakeholders respectively.
“Digital operation will improve the operational efficiency of organising committees to make the events more sustainable. Digital competition will strengthen the position of athletes are at the heart of the Olympic movement both on and off the field of play.
“Digital communication is aimed to reorganise accounting workflow through digital technology. Olympics.com is one of the fruitful achievements. The converged media channel has delivered extended engagement for all fans during the Olympic Games, which will reinforce and promote the Olympic values which are more important and powerful than ever.
“Digital experience will establish the seamless Games journey experience to improve fans’ engagement before, during and after the Games.”
More value to host cities
“As TOP partner, Alibaba Cloud keeps collaborating with stakeholders of Olympic Games from Pyeongchang, Tokyo and Beijing to the coming Milano-Cortina, Paris and Los Angeles Games to support IOC’s digital strategy to facilitate the successful Games delivery and strengthen the uniqueness and universality of every brilliant Olympic Games.
“These practices could deeply involve the TOP Partner’s expertise and resources into the programmes and activities of the Olympic movement.
“Alibaba Cloud stands with the IOC, organising committees, IFs, sponsors and other partners to make digital technology – especially the cloud, which is hosting all core Games services – as a powerful source to enable the events to be more connected, more efficient, more secure and more engaging.
“It will be helpful to establish dynamic sports games with unprecedented experience and a reduced carbon footprint of the Games.
“Digital solutions rely on cloud technology that bring more value to the host cities of Games. From the faster sports industry development to more efficient city operations it is expected that host cities will witness the smart capability, building and developing of transportation, touring, medical, governance and many other aspects.
“Alibaba Cloud can work such digital magic into our cloud products and services, the comprehensive cloud solutions will create value and be the enabler of sports industry digitalisation. Cooperating with other sports partners, fans and stakeholders globally, I believe we can seize opportunities of digitalisation and contribute to shaping the post-pandemic world by working together with the sports community to strengthen the Olympic values.
“Stronger together: let us send our best wishes to all athletes and fans of the coming Beijing 2022 Olympic Games.”
This article is based on Kevin Li’s presentation, The digital transformation of the Olympic Games, at Host City 2021