DURBAN, South Africa (AFP) â€” Software group Satyam has become FIFA’s first major sponsor from India after being appointed as their official IT services provider for the next seven years.
Under an agreement signed here on Saturday, Satyam will join global giants such as McDonalds and the US brewer Anheuser-Busch as one of six World Cup sponsors.
The Indian company will provide Information Technology (IT) support for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups to be held in South Africa and Brazil respectively.
“This is a momentous day for Satyam, as we pledge to work much more closely with FIFA than we have in the past in the run up to 2010 and 2014,” the company’s founder and owner B. Ramalinga Raju said after the signing ceremony.
“We will bring the benefits of ever-evolving IT services to the organisation of these events and we feel our contribution will be really dramatic.”
Sepp Blatter, the president of world football’s governing body FIFA, welcomed the deal.
“This is a premier,” he told a press conference on the eve of the qualifying draw for the 2010 tournament.
“For the first time in the history of the World Cup we have a global company from India supporting this biggest sporting event.
“This is our first Indian partner, it is a seven-year deal and I’m very proud about that.”
The value of the contract to FIFA was not divulged.
Satyam is the fourth World Cup sponsor to be signed by FIFA following McDonalds, Anheuser-Busch and South African telecommunications group MTN, with two more to be finalised.
World Cup sponsors form the second tier of FIFA’s commercial hierarchy, behind the six official ‘FIFA Partners’ — Adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates, Sony, Visa and Hyundai.