NFL, IBM Team Up


The National Football League is tapping "Big Blue" to create a digital
catalog with 80 years of game video, pictures and text under a new three-year
deal announced Wednesday.

Under the agreement, IBM Corp. will help the NFL to design and launch a
centrally managed digital-asset database of video, audio, images, text and
statistics accumulated during the league’s 80-year history.

The resulting secured database will initially be used to distribute footage
and information to coaches, scouts, players and broadcasters. But in the future,
it may also fuel the NFL’s new media-distribution and electronic-commerce
efforts aimed at fans.

IBM will supply hardware and database software, as well as
business-management services. In exchange, it will receive the rights to use NFL
and Super Bowl logos and imagery in its advertising campaigns, as well as
placement of its own logo on various NFL outlets including ( and DirecTV Inc.’s NFL Sunday Ticket
out-of-market package.

IBM also will become a charter advertiser for The NFL Network, set to launch
Nov. 4.

"The NFL continues to align itself with partners that will help move the
league into the next phase of information technology, an element that is
critical to continue to deliver on the needs of our fans, member clubs and
business partners," said John Collins, the NFL's senior vice president of
marketing and sales, in a release.