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Fans Find Best Seats for The Championships are at the 'Net

www.wimbledon.org sets new records for IBM-powered sports Web sites

Armonk, NY - 06 Jul 1999: -- Within the first days of volleys and sets, the official Wimbledon Web site (http://www.wimbledon.org) proved that the best seat at The Championships was at the 'Net. Designed, developed and powered by IBM for The All England Lawn Tennis Club, the official site recorded nearly a billion hits during the tournament, becoming the most highly trafficked official Grand Slam site in history.

Total site traffic for the fortnight tallied 942 million hits, 71.2 million page views and 8.7 million visits. In just the first nine days of The Championships, http://www.wimbledon.org surpassed the 634 million hits mark, set by the official 1998 Nagano Olympic Games Web site, also powered by IBM. The Web site demonstrated its success early in the tournament when it registered 430,000 hits per minute during the Henman vs. Courier five set match on Wednesday, June 30, smashing the Grand Slam Web site record of 145,478 hits per minute, set at Wimbledon in 1998.

The Web site was an international tennis showcase as fans around the world traveled to the virtual view of Wimbledon. Many European fans logged into the games, with over 13% percent of hits coming from the United Kingdom and over 29% percent from Europe.

"Through the innovation and flexibility of e-business, IBM and the All England Club combined the best in tennis and technology to create a unique sports experience," said Tom Burke, senior manager of sports marketing, IBM. Tom added, "Interactive technology enabled fans to direct robotic SlamCams, hear live radio broadcasts and view real-time results -- experiencing The Championships on their own terms."

Wimbledon enthusiasts particularly enjoyed the Java Scoreboard feature, which provided live results from every match and could be downloaded to users' desktops. This feature was a core component of the Wimbledon Channel, a fast-track link to audio, video, statistics, news and photographs from The Championships. SlamCam, a robotic camera fans could control from their PCs, was also a popular feature, capturing 1,242,644 snap shots of Wimbledon tennis action.

FanCards, a new feature which allowed fans to send electronic postcards to their favorite players, were extremely popular. Tennis enthusiasts around the world sent 31,034 FanCards, and tennis great Steffi Graf received over 2,858 good luck wishes. On-site spectators could also send FanCards to their favorite players from IBM's new CyberCourt, six public kiosks that connected spectators to the virtual view of Wimbledon. Special CyberCourt kiosks were also available for players to stay in touch with family and friends during The Championships and to receive goodwill messages from fans.

From the first day of play, the Web site experienced tremendous popularity and rapidly increasing traffic, showcasing the scaleability of IBM's technology solution. Through an innovative integration of products and services, IBM also collected match results and statistics, and distributed information to the media and display boards on the grounds at Wimbledon.

Products and Services Involved in IBM's Wimbledon solution: Systems integration, Web design, and content hosting from IBM Global Services; IBM PCs, ThinkPads, IntelliStations, Aptivas, RS/6000 workstations, RS/6000 SPs using AIX operating system, IBM 2216 routers to balance traffic among Web servers and provide Web caching, Netfinity servers, DB2 Universal Database for Linux, Lotus Notes, Lotus Domino, Net.Commerce, eNetwork Dispatcher, Tivoli software, IBM SurfAid Analytics, LAN Network Manager and RAMAC Array storage units.

Coming Soon - Catch the last Grand Slam of 1999 at the official Web site of the 1999 US Open at http://www.usopen.org . Produced by IBM with the United States Tennis Association, the site will be live in August.

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IBM, ThinkPad, IntelliStation, Aptiva, RS/6000 SP, AIX, DB2, Netfinity, Net.Commerce, eNetwork Dispatcher and RAMAC are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.

Lotus, Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino are registered trademarks of Lotus Development Corporation.

Tivoli is a registered trademark of Tivoli Systems Inc.

Java is a registered trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the US and other countries.

Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

Contact(s) information

Lisa Herden
IBM
914-765-4596
lherden@us.ibm.com

Joyce Lagas
IBM
914-765-4599
jlagas@us.ibm.com

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