Sponsor Spotlight -- BT Looks Ahead to London; Curling Renews Partnership

(ATR) Official communications provider tests Olympic network ... World Curling Federation, Infront renew ... Quiz show to feature Arab Games questions ...

BT Prepared for London 2012

BT, the official communications provider for the Olympics, has completed about a third of its network for the Games.

In an interview with computing.co.uk, Tim Boden, business director at BT for London 2012, said the company has connected 25 out of 70 locations and is working on testing the network.

"We are testing the ability of the LOCOG organization to operate the actual sport. It's not testing in the true sense of the word - it's not like we don't know whether it works or not. It's actually about ensuring the operational processes perform perfectly in a live environment," said Boden.

"We started planning just before the Beijing Olympics. The big milestone from my perspective was that we had to have the design complete two years before the games begin," he added.

Boden said running the communications system also takes a lot of planning.

"If this was any other service we wouldn't have dedicated staff at every site. If we had a problem we might have four or five hours to fix it and we would send somebody out with the requisite spares."

He added, "It doesn't work like this with the Games. For example, if there was a problem with the LAN switches and one breaks we have only got an hour to fix it. You can't get people and spares inside the boundary within an hour, so we have to have spares for all our kit, and trained and skilled staff inside the venues."

After the Games, some of BT’s technology will remain.

"The Olympic village will become housing after the games, rather than a generic sort of venue type service. We have therefore put fiber to the premise type broadband into the village. This means that when the residents take over, they will effectively have fiber-based broadband services," said Boden.

WCF and Infront Extend Partnership

The World Curling Federation and Infront Sports & Media are extending their partnership for four years.

The media and marketing agreement will follow the previous three years of sponsorship. During these years, Infront and WCF jointly held nine events around the world. Infront also rebranded the Federation with a new logo.

Infront also helped bring in additional corporate sponsors including the bank Capital One; Mount10, a data back-up provider and DB Schenker, a transportation and logistics company.

WCF and Infront will work to promote the sport in Asia, where Infront is very active.

"The success of curling in Asia demonstrates the strong potential for the sport in new markets, whilst its popularity in core winter sports marketsis also still growing. This ongoing upswing will further expand the WCF events’ value as a sponsorship property and consequently prove highly beneficial for the associated brands," said Bruno Marty, Infront’s executive director of winter sports.

Quiz Show Will Feature Arab Games

The Arab Games Organizing Committee is sponsoring a quiz show that is televised during the month of Ramadan.

As part of the sponsorship, the Qatari Al Leewan Show will feature questions on the Arab Games.

"Our affiliation with Al Leewan stems from the fact that we believe in investing in people. Through sport, Qatar is investing in people, developing skills and expertise as the nation responds to a common goal of hosting major events," said Abdulrahman Al Dosari,AGOC head of marketing.

The Games are a multi-sport event that will bring together athletes from Arab countries from Dec. 9-23 in Doha, Qatar.

Aired daily during Ramadan, Al Leewan quizzes contestants on different themes each year and this year’s theme is modernity. Participants who answer three questions correctly win QAR 10,000 ($2,746) and a chance to win the grand prize of QAR 1,000,000 ($274,586).

Investec Sponsors Women’s Field Hockey Team

Investec, a private bank and wealth manager, is sponsoring England and Great Britain women’s field hockey teams.

According to Bloomberg, the agreement will start at the European Championships in August, 2011 and will continue for the next five years. The sponsorship will range from local children’s hockey to the national team.

The bank also supports the South African women’s team and signed a two-year shirt sponsorship deal with Tottenham Hotspur soccer club last year.

"We began sponsoring the South African women’s team last year and have expanded our backing of the sport as it symbolizes commitment, enthusiasm, skill and personal development," said Raymond van Niekerk, Investec’s global head of marketing, in Bloomberg.

OMEGA Gets Twitter Followers

The official time-keeper of the Olympics, OMEGA, has its first 1000 followers on Twitter.

People can follow the watch manufacturer here.

Written by Ann Cantrell.