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Interactive systems integrator develops Web-based solution to revolutionise sports sponsorship deals

SportBusiness Group, the world's leading supplier of information, media and B2B marketing services to the sports industry, has launched a collaborative solution that will facilitate the broking of sports sponsorship deals online, with the help of interactive systems integrator, Rubus.


The collaborative portal, known as SportMarketplace, will provide a Web-based forum for sponsors, sports people, teams, organisations and stadiums - known as 'properties' - to create alliances more rapidly, efficiently and cost effectively. Typically, specialist sponsorship agents, who often hold vested interests, take up to 20% in commission when deals are struck. Designed and built by Rubus, SportMarketplace will provide a wealth of impartial information and a means to facilitate sponsorship deals, eliminating the influence of vested interests in offline negotiations, offering a new and innovative way of doing business for all players in the sponsorship market.


Buyers and sellers are brought together utilising helpful tools to streamline and improve the search, measurement and transaction processes. SportMarketplace empowers buyers and sellers to measure proposals, interact efficiently and professionally on a global basis.


With over 40 sponsors now using the service and over 800 rights holders and federations registered, SportMarketplace is already revolutionising the way that sponsorship will be traded in the future.


Rubus undertook all creative identity and interface design work, as well as technical design, and systems integration. Additionally, Rubus developed a security and authentication solution to ensure the integrity of sensitive information, such as the financial credentials of sponsors, on the site cannot be breached.


David Beresford, COO at SportBusiness said, "The implementation of SportsMarketplace has widened our capabilities so that we can now offer the most comprehensive service to the sports industry. Our core business lies in providing information and intelligence to the sports industry, and we were looking for a way to leverage this to positive effect. Rubus has helped us create a solution for the business of sports sponsorship that will enable us to do this, and continue to add value in our target markets."


David Hesketh, co-founder at Rubus added, "The initial challenge was to assess how we could provide an impartial view of sponsorship while at the same time providing fast access to all the resource properties an sponsor need to strike the right deals. This unique project will give SportBusiness the opportunity to lead the field in sports solutions and offer a new approach to sports sponsorship."


Rubus worked with SportBusiness to identify the overall IT architecture for the system. It is based on open architecture standards ensuring that the system would put in place a corner stone for future interactive channel offerings and would allow for extension of the SportMarketplace functionality in the future. Rubus also undertook technology evaluation for the SportBusiness solution, creating a blueprint for system, and then undertaking full build and systems integration. Rubus has also been asked to manage the system go-live and to provide ongoing application support. The system is based on BEA' s WebLogic Server, which will give SportBusiness the flexibility and scability it needs to grow the capabilities of the business and the functionality of the system in the future.


To ensure that the SportMarketplace solution would be a tool of real value to sponsors, properties and administrators, Rubus also worked with industry experts inside SportBusiness to understand the sponsorship arena, most importantly the motivations and the requirements of each potential user group. From this, Rubus created 'user journey scenarios', which mapped the desired experience for each group against the functional, navigational and visual design.



- Ends -

About Rubus


Rubus, based in London and Bracknell, is an 'Interactive Systems Integrator '. It specialises in helping companies exploit interactive channels, including the Web, interactive TV and mobile communications.


Services span strategy definition, creative and technical design, systems development and integration and ongoing operational services support. The company works with clients to develop ideas and strategies for exploiting interactive channels, helping them pursue their goals and translate these into creatively designed, technically robust, marketable and value-adding e-business solutions. Its aim is to help them do this quickly, reliably and right first time.


Through relationships with product vendors such as Artesia, ATG, BEA, INTERSHOP, Interwoven, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, Tridion, Verity and Volantis, Rubus is able to provide its customers with solutions that take advantage of the latest in interactive technology. Clients include B&Q, Waterstone's, Thomascook.com, Granada Media, ITV Digital, Nomura, Cazenove, IPC, Confetti.co.uk, Lastminute.com and E W Blanch.


Rubus can be reached on the Web at: http://www.rubus.com


About SportBusiness Group


The world's leading supplier of information, media and B2B marketing services to the sports industry, SportBusiness Group, with its network of partners and agents, assists companies from all over the globe in achieving their business goals.


Over the past five years, SportBusiness Group has established its reputation as the leading voice' for the international sport business community, supplying a host of informational products and services to help our clients make better informed business decisions.


Our publishing, information services and conference divisions now support some of the most influential figures from sporting federations, governing bodies and key rights holders to leading sponsors, broadcasters and sport marketing companies. For business-to-business marketers, our advertiser, sponsor and partner programmes offer unparalleled access to executives across the range of sports-related organisations - electronically, in print, and person-to-person.


SportBusiness can be reached on the Web at: http://www.sportbusiness.com


Press contact for SportMarketplace:
Rupert Pratt - Business Development Manager
020 7934 9051
rupert.pratt@sportmarketplace.com


About BEA

BEA Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS) is the world's leading application infrastructure software company, providing the enterprise software foundation for 13,000 customers around the world, including the majority of the Fortune Global 500. BEA and its WebLogic(r) brand are among the most trusted names in business.

Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., BEA has 91 offices in 33 countries and is on the Web at


http://www.bea.com

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