RealTime IT News

An Olympian Approach to E-Commerce

NBC/Quokka Ventures, a joint venture of NBC and Quokka Sports, signed a deal with IBM to provide e-commerce and hosting solutions for NBCOlympics.com and the site's U.S. Olympic Store.

IBM will use its WebSphere Commerce Suite software to manage online shopping for the store. Financial arrangements were not disclosed; however, IBM will be an advertiser on the site.

Consumers in the United States will be able to purchase selected merchandise, such as apparel and souvenirs, officially licensed by the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, in addition to licensed products from the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The Web site is part of NBC's coverage of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games across its television network, on cable channels CNBC and MSNBC, and via the Internet.

IBM has exclusive rights for the Information Technology advertising category on the site and as part of its previously announced Olympic Games advertising buy with NBC-TV, IBM will be shown on NBC's network broadcasts and featured as "NBCOlympics.com is an IBM e-business."

"Hosting NBCOlympics.com and providing the e-commerce solution for the U.S. online store are great ways to showcase IBM's technology leadership," said Eli Primrose-Smith, vice president for IBM Worldwide Olympic and Sports Sponsorships.

IBM has hosted other high-volume Web event sites, including Wimbledon, the Ryder Cup and the Official Nagano Olympic Games site.

NBC/Quokka Ventures was formed in February 1999 to produce NBC's online coverage of the Olympic Games. Unique to the site is Athlete's Voice, a mainstay of the coverage where the world's elite athletes provide ongoing, first-person accounts.