Alibaba Cloud’s AI solutions digitalize sports events, simplify processes

During Apsara Conference 2020, Alibaba Cloud unveiled a series of AI-powered (artificial intelligence) solutions that are set to transform and digitalize the way sports entertainment was traditionally organized, broadcast, and consumed. The solutions are designed to bring spectators closer to the events’ center stage for more personalized and interactive engagement while helping organizers and broadcasters operate more efficiently, effectively, and securely.

Established in 2009, Alibaba Cloud is the digital intelligence and technology backbone of Alibaba Group. It provides a suite of cloud computing services to businesses worldwide, including merchants doing business on Alibaba Group marketplaces, start-ups, corporations, and government organizations.

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The company said event organizers are set to benefit from Alibaba Cloud’s Event Simulation Services (ESS). Running on cloud and powered by elastic compute, ESS can help organizers plan the layout of indoor venues virtually, optimizing the position of equipment and facilities, without having to move or commission a single piece of physical kit. With the ability to create a digital twin, ESS reduces the time, expense, and risk of physical tests and run-throughs, providing a comprehensive digital examination of a venue for all key stakeholders.


When it comes to event broadcasting planning, ESS enables broadcasters to simulate and test different camera positions before installing camera tracks, thereby offering audiences the best point of view. Furthermore, ESS provides organizers with a wealth of insights for post-event analysis for more effective future planning.

For large-scale events, crowd management and access control could be time-consuming and cumbersome to coordinate. The typical paper-based accreditation system is not effective enough, especially at a time when venue coordinators are working hard to maintain social distancing measures.

Alibaba Cloud has developed a Digital Badge System which embeds access control and essential event information with digital accreditation. Developed to be simple to use, the digital badge system eliminates the need to print a paper ticket, not only being more environmentally friendly but also reducing the risk of access pass counterfeiting.


When using the digital badge, cards that carry important information such as maps, event times, and organizer contact details, can be issued within seconds and on-demand, removing the inventory problems often associated with paper-based systems. Cardholders can also receive card expiration notices and other important notifications in real-time. In addition, event organizers have the option to embed health advisory information in the event of COVID-19 outbreaks.

Broadcasters and journalists are imperative in bringing the joy and excitement of sports stories to fans around the world. To improve their experience when attending press conferences, Alibaba Cloud has launched Press Conference on Cloud to facilitate virtual media briefings using proven live and on-demand streaming technologies.

The solution broadens the reach and increases efficiency for journalists, who do not need to be physically present in order to join press conferences, saving them valuable time in crafting news stories, as well as the hassles of traveling to different venues in gigantic sports parks. With Press Conference on Cloud, reporters may even choose to attend more than one briefing happening in different locations at the same time to maximize their efficiency and productivity.


To bring fans closer to sports events, Alibaba Cloud also launched Fan Video Hub to enable sports fans from all over the world to support their favorite teams and athletes more personally, regardless of their location.

The AI-powered technology can act as an efficient aggregator, which is able to collect and filter real-time videos uploaded by fans from all over the world to a variety of social network platforms, before broadcasting them onto designated online platforms, or in venues where the event being enjoyed is going on. Organizers of sports events can initiate special projects, encouraging fans to create motivating and personalized videos that will eventually be displayed in sports stadiums.

“As a global leading cloud service provider, we are excited to see our mature technology innovations to be used to support the digital transformation of some of the largest international sports events,” said Selina Yuan, president of International Business, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

Alibaba Cloud said it is committed to digitalizing sports events through helping broadcasters revolutionalize the experience. In September 2018, together with Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), Alibaba Cloud launched the OBS cloud, which was developed to transform the process for bringing the Olympic Games to viewers.