At a special event held at Eden Park in Auckland this morning, Microsoft New Zealand announced it had become the official Rugby World Cup sponsor.
The sponsorship deal will see Microsoft provide its software and cloud services to the tournament’s key stakeholders including Windows 7, Microsoft Office 2010, Windows Server, SQL Server, SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online.
Microsoft Silverlight technology will also be used to offer a "unique online viewing experience” for fans around the world through a highly cost effective content distribution system.
Costs of this service weren’t revealed.
Paul Muckleston, Managing Director, Microsoft New Zealand said, "Rugby World Cup 2011 is set to be the biggest international sporting event in New Zealand’s history, from both an economic and tourism point of view. The number of international visitors anticipated to attend the tournament means as Kiwis this is our chance to showcase our country. Microsoft is very proud and excited to be involved.”
He added, "The tournament will have access to some of our latest technology, such as Silverlight, that will enable fans who are unable to travel to New Zealand to view matches and match highlights online.”
There was no mention of whether the Xbox brand would form part of the sponsorship. Maybe Sony and PlayStation 3 already has that one wrapped up?