Satyam Computer Services will get its new owner’s help in applying information technology to the football world cup.
Tech Mahindra, the new owner of scandal-hit Satyam,is a part of the Mahindra Group, which also runs a football club, Mahindra United. And TM had signed an agreement with the Union of European Football Associations (Uefa) in August 2006 to provide solutions for delivering the matches’ content directly to mobile devices across the world.
Satyam, which incorporated its sports vertical in 2007, is the first Indian company to sign with Fifa, the world soccer body, as a sponsor and official IT provider for the 2010 and 2014 football world cup tournament.
A Satyam spokesperson told Business Standard: “Tech Mahindra has been providing mobile streaming services to Uefa, besides other telecom services. The company will support us by offering its technology expertise in football. We will go together for the two World Cups.”
TM and Satyam’s alliance on sports may not end with the World Cup and may expand to other disciplines as well.
“Tech Mahindra is also looking at diversifying into other sports to provide content, while Satyam has interests in Formula One, basketball and other sports. We have already opened discussions with the National Basketball Association and a couple of F1 properties in the US. However, discussions were slow, due to developments since December. We will now pursue them aggressively and we (Tech Mahinda and Satyam) will go along in providing services for sports events,” the spokesperson added.
In 2008, Satyam had told Business Standard of its plans to add graphic simulations to football, as in cricket, to enrich viewers’ experience. “Our idea is to create intelligent stadia, an integrated suite of solutions to make the entire sport a unique experience. We intend to approach a couple of sports federations in Europe for the purpose,” it had said.
Satyam will offer value-in-kind (products or services provided by sponsors as part of sponsorship contracts) from its Bangalore and Chennai centres, besides onsite support from its Zurich facility, as the event approaches. At present, 100 Satyam professionals are working on the Fifa engagement.
The Fifa partnership can be extended if performance is good and Satyam had been entrusted with developing the core IT event management system, accommodation and hospitality management, including for the local organisation committees of South Africa and Brazil, over the next seven years. It is also setting up and managing 240 self-help ticketing terminals in South Africa to distribute nearly four million tickets.