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IBM extends backing of RFU

England’s Rugby Football Union has signed a new four-year agreement with IT services company IBM.

As an Official Partner of England Rugby, IBM will help deliver the RFU’s strategic plan using its cloud and AI technology.

RFU will look to leverage IBM technology in a range of fields. IBM’s AI-enabled cloud platform will enable the RFU to create personalised interactions with players and teams, while the company’s Watson AI platform will also be leveraged to find new player analytic solutions.

In addition, IBM’s iX design agency will work in collaboration with the RFU’s digital team to redesign England Rugby’s match day hub and other web platforms.

The new deal comes on the back of a successful five-year relationship between the RFU and IBM.

Bill Kelleher, IBM’s chief executive in the UK and Ireland, said: “IBM was asked to extend our partnership because IT and innovation are fundamental enablers to what the RFU want to achieve with their ambitious strategic plan.

“IBM’s AI and cloud technology will play a vital role in the delivery of their vision allowing them to be customer focused, data driven and innovative in all they do. Increasingly the progression of sport and technology go hand in hand, so we are very excited about the next stage of our partnership.”