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Indian IT services firm HCL Technologies will provide the IT that supports the Volvo-sponsored round-the-world sailing event, which allows the media and fans to follow the eight-month race which covers 45,000 nautical miles.
The IT is vital for the Volvo Ocean Race’s online streaming and TV production. Held every three years, this year’s event will be the most digital ever, with 5,000 journalists and millions of fans expected to be observe events.
The race will start in Alicante, Spain in October 2017 and will make 12 port stops where operations known as Race Villages will be built and supported by HCL.
The villages will have inter-site connectivity, digital content delivery, mobile datacentres, Wi-Fi networks and multimedia facilities for media centres and race offices. This enables the media to follow boat arrivals and departures, as well as races held in the ports.
Mark Turner, Volvo Ocean Race CEO, said this year’s Volvo Ocean Race will be more digitally focused than ever before.
“Connecting the expected three million Race Village visitors, the 5,000 accredited journalists and our tens of millions of fans around the world is an immense task,” he said.
“Building the complex IT infrastructure to support this is a huge challenge, and we’re confident that this partnership with HCL Technologies will allow us to provide fans, media and stakeholders with a more connected experience than ever before.”
Digital technologies are playing an increasingly role in generating revenue for large sporting events. For example, the network supporting the 2016 Rio Olympics sent more than 100 million messages to media companies to share real-time results and data from all 42 Olympic sports and 306 events. This compared with the 58.8 million messages sent at London 2012.
Events such as the Olympic Games and the football World Cup,which happen every four years, as well as the Volvo Ocean Race, which is every three years, lend themselves to IT outsourcing as they don’t have to retain a large internal IT team and capacity can be increased when required.