Microsoft New Zealand provided some of the company's latest software and technology to the country’s largest sporting event in history, as an official sponsor of Rugby World Cup 2011.

The sponsorship, valued at more than NZ$2 million, involved supplying a range of desktop and server software licenses, including Silverlight® Player, Windows 7®, Microsoft Office 2010®, Windows Server®, SQL Server®, SharePoint® Server and SharePoint ®Online to support the successful operation of the tournament.

Hospitality was also extended to organisations Microsoft supports and it was a privilege to offer the Microsoft Eden Park corporate box to the Computer Clubhouse and their guests at the Fiji v Samoa pool match.

The Computer Clubhouse is an NGO with the mission to provide young people access to relevant high-tech skills and experiences that result in jobs in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.  It mirrors current educational research which shows that adolescents learn most effectively when they are engaged in designing and creating projects, rather than memorizing facts or learning isolated skills out of context.

Supported in part by Microsoft New Zealand, the Computer Clubhouse programme has been enabling the teaching of tech skills since 2004, and currently operates five facilities, with seven more scheduled to open before the end of 2012.

Until now the Computer Clubhouse had focused on the development of youth in New Zealand.  The proven model led to the exploration of expanding further afield and the expansion into Pacifica was celebrated on the day of the Fiji v Samoa match.  On match day guests witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Sam Chapman, Acting Chair of the Computer Clubhouse, and Lelei LeLaulu, Chairman of the Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International (FSPI).  This MOU is the first step in transferring this teaching model to countries such as Samoa, Tonga and Fiji.

Mike Usmar, CEO of the Computer Clubhouse Trust said, “The timing of the support by Microsoft was perfect for us at Computer Clubhouse. ‘Rugby Diplomacy’ enabled us to bring all the key players together in one space to talk through our strategy for Clubhouse in the Pacific. Microsoft continues to be an outstanding sponsor of the work in the region and this event was yet one more example of the close working relationship Microsoft New Zealand has with the wider community.”

“‘Rugby Diplomacy’ enabled us to bring all the key players together in one space to talk through our strategy for Clubhouse in the Pacific. Microsoft continues to be an outstanding sponsor of the work in the region and this event was yet one more example of the close working relationship Microsoft New Zealand has with the wider community.”
-  Mike Usmar, CEO of the Computer Clubhouse Trust