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Press release:

Microsoft Becomes Wembley Stadium's First Founding Partner

Reading - UK - 20 October 2005 - Microsoft UK and Wembley National Stadium Ltd have today announced that Microsoft has become Wembley Stadium's first Founding Partner.

The 90,000-seat venue will be the biggest and most sophisticated stadium in the world, when it opens next year. As Wembley Stadium's first Founding Partner, Microsoft UK will support the Stadium in its final stage of construction and for the first four years of its operational life.

Nick Barley, Business & Marketing Officer at Microsoft UK, explained:

"Microsoft believes in helping people to achieve their potential. Wembley Stadium plays a unique role in British life it's a national icon that has inspired generation after generation of young people with the dream of playing and performing at Wembley. By becoming Wembley Stadium's first Founding Partner, we are helping to ensure that dream continues."

Wembley Stadium will welcome over two million visitors each year to a wide variety of live entertainment events and generate approximately 5,000 new jobs. It is at the heart of a major regeneration programme for the London Borough of Brent called "Vision 2020", which will transform the area by providing new homes, offices and community sport and leisure facilities as well as improved public transport links.

Barley continued,

"We are committed to supporting the UK in projects to boost local communities, and in becoming the stage for the world's biggest events. We believe that by working with the new Wembley Stadium we can help to improve people's experience of live entertainment, be that sport, music or other events, through the application of technology. That's why we are delighted to become Wembley Stadium's first Founding Partner and play a major role in its success."

Wembley Stadium will host an unrivalled range of sporting, musical and live events, including The FA Cup Final, The Football League Cup Final, The Rugby League Challenge Cup Final, major music concerts and it will be the home of the England football team. The Founding Partner agreement follows previous investment in UK community projects where technology can improve the experience for participators and audiences alike, such as the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and the British Olympic Association, where Microsoft also has technical partnership agreements.

Chief Executive of Wembley Stadium, Michael Cunnah added:

"Microsoft is one of the world's leading companies and is notoriously selective over which organisations it chooses to partner. The union of Microsoft and the new state-of the art Wembley Stadium is fantastic news and will help resurrect the Stadium as the world's leading sports and entertainment venue. Microsoft is a truly inspirational market leader that is a perfect partner for Wembley Stadium - a venue which, when it opens next year, will once again inspire the sportsmen and women, and musicians of today and tomorrow."

Clive Richards, Wembley Stadiums Head of Sponsorship said:

"We are hugely excited about the appointment of Microsoft, the world's leading technology company, as the Stadium's first Founding Partner. Microsoft's global profile, its innovative technologies and its commitment to delivering best of breed solutions make it a natural partner for the Stadium. Not only does the start of this partnership represent a major milestone for the project, it presents the opportunity for Microsoft and Wembley Stadium to share in each other's successes until 2010 and hopefully beyond."