Toshiba, telco NTT and Avaya, a former division of Lucent, have signed up as official sponsors of the 2002 Fifa World Cup.

Toshiba has signed up as an official sponsor of both the 2002 and 2006 Fifa World Cup tournaments and become the official IT partner for both events - a position that will see it supplying hundred of computers, notebooks, desktops and servers, to support the IT operations at events.

Announcement of the deal comes less than a year before the scheduled start of the 2002 World Cup, which is being jointly hosted by Korea and Japan, and well after the signing of other official sponsorship deals.

The delay was caused, said Toshiba spokesman Kenichi Sugiyama, by the collapse of Swiss marketing firm ISL Worldwide which was organising sponsors. "Before we made the official signature on the contract, ISL was bankrupt so the official signing was delayed," said Sugiyama. Fifa Marketing was set up to take over from ISL.

The companies will get bragging rights as World Cup sponsors and get company names and logos in front of billions of people through on-screen advertising during the games. Toshiba said its name and logo will appear during each on-screen scoring update during the World Cup games and the Confederations Cup matches from Friday evening's games onwards.