In 2017, Alibaba signed with the International Olympic Committee to be the official cloud service partner of the Olympics through to 2028. The deal covers three summer and three winter Olympic Games.
“We are aiming to empower smarter Olympics and sports with innovations in cloud computing and the intelligence technologies,” Alibaba Cloud Intelligence president for international business Selina Yuan said during the company’s virtual Apsara Conference 2020 on Thursday.
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In 2018, Alibaba unveiled the “cloud data centre” for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic games. Yuan said the data centre utilises clean energy such as wind and solar energy to make it a “green digital Olympics”.
In the same year, the Olympic Broadcasting Service (OBS) cloud was launched to drive what Yuan called the technology revolution of live Olympic games broadcasting.
Presenting alongside Yuan was OBS CEO Yannis Exarchos, who said the deal with the Chinese giant allows the broadcasting service to deliver “groundbreaking” solutions that operate on the Alibaba cloud.
“This cloud architecture allows us to establish our framework in the digital space and supports the extremely demanding content production and delivery workflows of broadcasting the Olympic Games,” he said.
“It also allows us to experiment in a very robust and secure environment, whilst at the same time, democratising access to content and delivering interactivity to tens of millions of sports fans around the world.”
Exarchos said in working with Alibaba cloud, OBS is aiming to set the new benchmark for the future of live sports broadcasting.
“The current COVID pandemic is highlighting even more importance of high-quality cloud services for ensuring the continuity of high quality live broadcasting, ensuring scalability, sustainability, remote operation, and efficient delivery of personalised experience,” he added.
Although the games have been postponed due to COVID-19, Alibaba is also supporting the Tokyo 2020 event and will be helping bring the 2022 Asia Games to fans through the cloud, as well as partnering with Le Club Paris 2024 for a new interactive website and engagement platform.
“As an Olympic Games partner, we are committed to supporting the [Olympic Committee] transform how fans engage with the games and upgrading the largest sporting event,” Yuan added.