Cirque du Soleil Announces Three Year Worldwide Partnership with IBM

Relationship to Add Flexibility and Versatility to Cirque du Soleil's Worldwide Technology Infrastructure

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MONTREAL & ARMONK, N.Y. - 17 Mar 2003: Cirque du Soleil today announced a three-year partnership with IBM, which designates the company as its worldwide information technology sponsor through 2005.

Through this agreement, IBM will consult with Cirque du Soleil to develop and introduce innovative and creative technology solutions that will assist this organization with the management and infrastructure of its overall business, which spans the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe.

As part of this relationship, IBM Global Services will support Cirque du Soleil in three important areas. They include:

IBM will also work with Cirque du Soleil to install a Storage Area Network (SAN) that is designed to connect all of the organization's servers to provide the flexibility, reliability and scalability required to manage its projected growth and project management.

"We are proud to be associated with such a respected global company as IBM and benefit from its leadership and skill," said Mario D'Amico, vice president, marketing, Cirque du Soleil. Danielle Savoie, chief information officer, added: "IBM's vast expertise in critical areas such as wireless, data storage and business recovery services will enable us to continue to grow and tackle with confidence the technology challenges inherent to running this unique 'mobile' business on a global basis."

"Our relationship with Cirque du Soleil highlights many shared attributes between the two organizations, including innovation, creativity and a global presence," said Rick Singer, director of worldwide sponsorship marketing, IBM. "We are proud to assist Cirque du Soleil in using information technology in creative new ways to manage its operations more effectively as it continues to entertain and enthrall audiences around the world."

As part of the sponsorship terms, IBM will use Cirque du Soleil imagery and performers in marketing efforts. Additionally, IBM plans to work with Cirque du Soleil to stage special performances at major customer and Business Partner events and extend the entertainment experience to IBM customers and partners through benefits like hospitality and special VIP access at touring shows in North America and Asia.

This agreement marks IBM's first new entertainment sponsorship since it became the Tony Awards' technology partner in 1998.

IBM is Cirque du Soleil's first global corporate alliance partner.

Over the past 43 years, IBM has extended its business solutions into entertainment and professional sports by providing results and competition management systems. With the emergence of e-business, IBM has expanded many of these relationships to include a presence on the Web. Today, IBM provides technology support and solutions to major sports and entertainment properties, including the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open tennis championships, the PGA TOUR, and the Tony Awards.

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