IBM Delivers Gold Medal Performance For Olympic Games Technology
Official Olympic Web Site Sets Records for Internet Traffic
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, October 2, 2000 -- IBM reached the climax of a 40-year association with the Olympic Movement by
delivering a technology performance worthy of a gold medal during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Building and managing the technology infrastructure for the Sydney Games was the "largest, most complex information
technology challenge in the world," according to Tom Furey, IBM general manager, worldwide Olympic technology.
The official Games Web site, powered by IBM, handled unprecedented Internet traffic with 11.3 billion hits, a 1,700
percent increase over the Nagano Games official site in 1998. More than 13 million lines of software code were written
and thoroughly tested before the Games began. Almost 6,000 people provided technology support for 300 medal events in 37
sports competitions held at 39 venues.
IBM's technology performance generated praise among Olympic and international sports federation officials. "Sailing is
one of the more complicated sports, and IBM did a great job," said Jerome Pels, technical delegate for the International
Sailing Federation. "With the technology, we achieved more than ever before at the Olympic Games. The Internet was key
for involving sailing fans all over the world."
IBM designed, developed and hosted the official Olympic Web site, Olympics.com, the most popular destination on the
Internet during the Games. More than 8.7 million unique visitors accounted for 230 million Web page views from September
13 when competition began until the closing ceremony October 1. Olympics.com was the only site that offered
comprehensive results for every sport, every athlete and every country.
The majority of visitors, 62 percent, were from countries outside the United States. Countries generating the most
traffic were: United States, 38 percent; Australia, 17 percent; Canada, 7 percent; United Kingdom, 5 percent; Japan, 3
percent; and 2 percent each for Germany, Italy, China and France.
IBM also hosted other Olympic-related Internet sites, including nbcolympics.com, one of the most successful Olympic Web
sites in the U.S., and ibm.com/fanmail, where fans from 199 countries sent 371,654 messages to athletes and teams
competing in Sydney.
"The Olympics have been an unmatched marketing platform for showcasing IBM technology on a global stage," said Eli
Primrose-Smith, vice president, worldwide Olympic and sports sponsorships. "We have achieved our sponsorship goals, and
it is fantastic to end on a high note with an impressive demonstration of IBM's ability to manage the technology for the
world's most complex and greatest sporting event."
IBM capitalized on its association with the Olympic rings through an extensive marketing program that included
advertising on TV, in print and on the Internet. One of the company's most successful promotions involved the FanMail
Web site and IBM Surf Shacks. Athletes visited the Surf Shack in the Olympic Village to read and respond to FanMail
messages from all over the world. Athletes from Cuba, Russian Federation and the Ukraine created the most of the more
than 4,237 home pages on the site. Additionally, more than 78,000 fans visited the first ever IBM Surf Shack for the
public, floating in Sydney's Cockle Bay at Darling Harbour, where they sent FanMail, surfed the Web and participated in
demonstrations of IBM's Via Voice speech recognition technology.
IBM has been involved with the Olympic Games since 1960 when it used computer punch cards to tally results at the Winter
Games in Squaw Valley, California. As the Worldwide Information Technology Partner and Official Internet Provider for
the Games, IBM has performed an integral role in helping the Olympic Movement and Games orgainsers bring the Olympic
Games to the world. IBM's relationship with the International Olympic Committee ends December 31, 2000.