SOCOG extends IBM's Internet role

The Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) announced yesterday it has expanded worldwide technology partner IBM's role to include the provision of creative multimedia design and content management services for the official web site.

Following a tender process, SOCOG has also appointed local publishing company Gadfly Media to assist in producing and managing the online content.

IBM is the worldwide information technology partner and official Internet technologies and solutions provider for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

According to officials, IBM's existing role included establishing the technical architecture and specifications, developing Web applications and providing the content hosting, publishing and wide-area networking services required for operating and maintaining the site.

In its new expanded role, IBM will also be involved in creating the design, layout and navigation of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games web site. IBM was selected for the project based on its past experience with other sporting sites including Wimbledon, the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games and the Australian Open.

Gadfly Media's role will include helping SOCOG define the vision and overall direction for the site as well as producing content suitable for the web environment.

According to officials, content and management of the existing web site was carried out inhouse by SOCOG.

SOCOG's Internet business group program manager, Mark Jackson said: "With the creative design, technical and project management shills IBM is contributing, plus Gadfly's content leadership, we are going to build a site truly worthy of the world's greatest sporting event."

Officials said the existing official web site, live since July 1997, will be replaced by a "state-of-the-art" site mid next year, allowing users access to real-time results, breaking news, background information and athlete profiles.