CMS Case Study – Rugby World Cup 2003

Mark Harrison writes about a newly released MCMS Case Study for the Rugby World Cup 2003 web site.

The much awaited International Rugby Board Rugby World Cup 2003 CMS case study – for one of the largest CMS deployments worldwide – is now out!

With a worldwide television audience of 3.5 billion, the Rugby World Cup was the world’s biggest sporting event in 2003. Using Microsoft technology and within a timeframe of only 14 weeks, the International Rugby Board created a robust and secure online publishing system that met the demands of editorial teams in London and Sydney and millions of rugby fans in 194 countries. The system handled usage levels that on occasions saw four million web pages opened per hour and provided live match updates from stadium sideline to Web site within seconds. Published in English, Spanish and French, the Rugby World Cup site also included live match audio, video replays of matches and an archive of statistics.

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3 replies

  1. I understand that businesses don’t normally do this because of associated costs, but the report would’ve been more informative if the company evaluated 3 or 4 CMSes and then narrowed down on one. Then they could say something like "Yes, we’ve tried X CMS solution, and here are the bugs and frustrations we had with it, but when we tried Y, it turned out to be way better".

    But probably what happened is the sales person made a pitch and they arrived at a single solution before hands-on evaluation of the other ones. It’s good publicity for the vendor, but if another customer reads it, it’s similar to me publishing a "case study" on why I chose Coke for lunch today (hint: there are only Coke machines in the building, so it’s not like I had a choice).


  2. Actually, Unisys was already hosting the database and information system for the Rugby World Cup organization. (I’m not sure about how long that relationship had been in existence, but it was prior to the idea of the web site). When the Rugby org. asked their existing provider, Unisys, for a reference to a content management system that would be compatible with their operations and data, they suggested MCMS.

    Granted, you could say that this is like asking a can of Diet Coke, "Which is your prefrred Non-Diet cola?", but I might characterize it more like the following, "We have 3 months to get this site built. You have the data, we have the design plans for the site, and a list of requirements. Who do you know who has the proven track record and the expertise to deliver on this level of requirements?"

    I think that the "associated costs" of evaluating multiple CMS systems are often very relevant. I’m not sure that i agree that businesses normally don’t evaluate multiple CMS systems because of associated costs. In my experience, if a company doesn’t evaluate multiple CMS systems, it is because of their relationship with a single CMS system, or their relative immaturity, as a corporation, in the CMS space.

    It is always better, in my judgement, to measure twice and cut once, than to implement a second CMS system because your first choice had a flashy UI but no legs.


  3. >> [Alex Moskalyuk] "tried X CMS solution, and here are the bugs and frustrations we had with it, but when we tried Y, it turned out to be way better"

    The importance of this event (and its Web site) didnt allow the IRB or UNISYS the luxury of experimenting … they had to go with a solution and infrastructure that they had full confidence to deliver ontime a robust solution.

    And its not the Microsoft way to highlight the frustrations of alternative competing vendor products.


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