ANZ launched its big Rugby World Cup promotion with much pomp and ceremony last week. But it's obviously not too late to get involved, because Microsoft New Zealand announced today that it has signed up as an official sponsor of the tournament.
“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," says Paul Muckleston, managing director, Microsoft New Zealand. "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.
“Our Microsoft colleagues in rugby playing nations around the world are buzzing about the sponsorship, and we look forward to providing a memorable and uniquely Kiwi experience to all those visiting New Zealand. The tournament will have access to some of our latest technology, such as Silverlight, which will enable fans who are unable to travel to New Zealand to view matches and match highlights online.”
Muckleston says Microsoft’s technology will also enhance the experience for those attending the tournament (with something similar to those tremendous Windows 7 launch parties, perhaps?) and software and cloud product services will be available to the tournament’s key stakeholders.
RWCL chairman Bernard Lapasset wheeled out the standard phrase to announce the deal, saying "the appointment of a world leader in the software and technology field further underlines the enormous attraction and prestige of the tournament in the global sporting calendar".
So far it's an impressive list of sponsors, with Emirates, MasterCard, Heineken, ANZ, DHL and Société Générale on board as top tier sponsors, or 'worldwide partners'; Brancott Estate, Toshiba, Land Rover and Microsoft as Official Sponsors; Licensing in Motion and RTH as Master Licencees; Canterbury as official sportswear supplier; Gilbert Rugby supplying the balls; Russell McVeagh upholding the law; KPMG taking the accounting and tax advisory services and Coca-Cola as official soft drinks supplier.