WebCentral kicks rivals into touch

WebCentral kicks rivals into touch

Millions of rugby union fans will be relying on Australian web hosting company WebCentral this year after it secured a deal with the Australian Rugby Union to design and implement a high powered hosting solution for its core web site (www.rugby.com.au) and its dedicated host union Rugby World Cup 2003 site (www.rugby2003.com.au).

Both web sites have already begun experiencing extreme volumes of traffic, with more than 30 million page impressions logged in a recent three day period, despite the tournament not officially beginning until 10 October 2003.

Lloyd Ernst, CEO of WebCentral, said the company relished the challenge of hosting what will be such an important source of information to so many fans worldwide.

"During the Rugby World Cup 2003, the ARU’s sites are expected to be among the busiest in Australia. We are excited to be working with the ARU to deliver a top quality hosting service which will provide a more responsive and reliable web experience to the legion of rugby fans who are already showing their interest in the World Cup."

Greg West, Online Services Manager for the ARU, stressed the need for the site to be up at all times and the consequences for the ARU should the site experience downtime were factors in enlisting the services of WebCentral.

"The web will be a primary source of communication for the World Cup. All of our advertising and other promotions will direct people back to the ARU’s web sites. We need high capacity and we can’t afford to be down for one minute, let alone five minutes. If our site were to go down it has enormous implications for ticket sales as well as our corporate image.

“Communications is at the heart of all of the ARU’s operations and people expect instant information. We already deliver a significant amount of content to rugby followers in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The Rugby World Cup is the biggest international sporting event in the world this year. It expands our audience enormously – this is very much an international event and the reliability of our web sites will be even more critical than usual. We will be supplying and updating information 24 hours a day, seven days a week to an audience which spans both hemispheres and, effectively, never sleeps."

West added: "WebCentral had been hosting our rugby community site www.rugbynet.com.au for a few years and we had used other providers for other projects. When the time came to plan our hosting for the World Cup we did our research and wanted to partner with a provider who would be proactive, understand our goals and provide guarantees on delivery of the services."

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