by Rebecca Merrett

Samir Mahir leaves Tennis Australia

Jul 06, 2015
Technology Industry

Tennis Australia’s Samir Mahir has left the organisation as CIO after leading a number of analytics and digital projects.

The tech leader left Tennis Australia in June to seek out new areas of opportunity to advance in his career.

Mahir has been involved in delivering IT and technology for tennis events since the mid-1990s, having worked as IT director for the United States Tennis Association from 1996-1999, then on project managing the Tennis Grand Slam Tournaments along with other sporting events with IBM Atlanta in 1999 to 2011.

He spent a little more than four years at Tennis Australia, mainly working on delivering data analytics, digital tools and services for tennis fans.

His work on the annual Australian Open event included introducing new features to the app and websites to increase fan engagement and deliver stats to them in interactive ways, working with IBM technology.

The SlamTracker app he helped develop visualises data and statistics from the event, using eight years of historical data on players and the game in combination with real-time statistics during the tournament. It features player and ball movement information, as well as suggesting three key things a player needs to do in order to win the match.

Mahir introduced IBM Watson into Tennis Australia’s operations to accurately predict what compute power is needed at different stages of the tournament. The supercomputer looks at game schedule, player data and historical information to determine if there’s a need to boost compute capacity to support the game’s digital services to fans.

He also deployed Watson to provide media with real-time insights about players and games so that journalists could access historical statistics or real-time information through it.

With the Tennis Australia websites, Mahir deployed application performance and availability monitoring technology to cut its issue management process by 50 per cent, resulting in people staying longer on the sites.