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NFL and IBM team up for IT infrastructure

The National Football League and IBM have announced a three-year agreement naming IBM as the NFL’s “official information technology (IT) partner.” The two companies will work together to create a new technology platform, using IBM products, to support the secure distribution of digital media and other new business ventures for the NFL.

As part of the agreement, IBM will receive the rights to use NFL and Super Bowl marks and imagery in its advertising and marketing efforts. It also will receive prominent presence on numerous NFL media platforms, including NFL.COM and NFL Sunday Ticket (the NFL’s out-of-market satellite subscription package on DirecTV). In addition, IBM will be a charter advertiser of NFL Network, the new NFL television programming service launching November 4.

The initial focus of the agreement includes assisting the NFL in designing and implementing an advanced, flexible and centrally managed digital asset “warehouse” to maximize the ongoing use of more than 80 years of NFL assets (i.e. video, audio, images, text and statistics) across the League’s member Clubs, varied properties and Internet partners.

The NFL and IBM will develop technology that will enable NFL Films, Clubs, broadcasters and partners to access and distribute the NFL’s digital content in a controlled and secure environment.

IBM’s DB2 Content Manager and DB2 Universal Database software will manage and log the content, while Tivoli Storage Manager software and IBM tape storage will run on multiple IBM eServer xSeries and pSeries servers.

As the official information technology partner for the NFL, IBM Business Consulting Services will provide consulting services, business model definition and IT prioritization throughout the duration of the relationship to maximize the NFL’s return on investment.

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