Internet phone firm Avaya offers up World Cup work

Telecoms company Avaya is seeking PR support across EMEA as it bids to maximise publicity for its sponsorship of the 2006 World Cup.

Avaya plans to appoint an agency to an EMEA brief and is thought to have budgeted around £100,000 for the work.

Comms director Tim Brill said a major piece of the brief would involve promoting Avaya's sponsorship of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The draw for the group stages of the world's most-watched sports tournament is staged in Frankfurt today (9 December).

As part of its sponsorship deal Avaya is providing onsite equipment at World Cup matches for journalists and photographers to send copy and pictures.

It has shortlisted four agencies for the contract.

In addition, the company is reviewing its retained agency relationships in four lead countries, putting Firefly Communications' five-year relationship with Avaya under review in the UK and Ireland.

The corporate, trade and technical PR accounts for Germany, France and the Netherlands are also up for grabs. Project-based arrangements with agencies in 11 other countries are not affected.

Brill said Avaya needed an EMEA-wide agency following its acquisition last year of German telecoms company Tenovis. Avaya's global revenue exceeded £2.8bn in the year to October 2005, 30 per cent of which was generated in the EMEA region.

Avaya supplies business telephone services via the internet. Based on the same principals as voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP), the company supplies more than seven million lines globally.

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