SBJ/19980525/This Week's Issue

Yankees close to technology deal with HP

The New York Yankees are close to naming the Hewlett-Packard Co. the first-ever official technology supplier for the team.

Details are still being worked out, including whether HP will be involved in developing a new Yankees Web site. For the non-Web site part of the transaction, HP will pay the Yankees more than $500,000 over a two- to three-year period.

The technology company will upgrade and reconstruct the Yankees' office network, provide the team with up-to-date network systems, communications and hardware and improve the communications system with the Tampa Bay office.

"It's more of a partnership than a sponsorship," said Joe Perello, head of business development with the Yankees. The deal will be customized to allow HP to receive as much exposure as possible, he added.

The company will not have signage at Yankee Stadium, though company ads will be shown on Diamond Vision. As part of the arrangement, HP plans to take clients to games and spring training and to host events at Yankee Stadium, Perello said.

HP's press agency declined to comment on the new relationship, but emphasized that it was still not a done deal.

The Yankees are taking bids to replace their Web site provider, Medius Interactive. The club's contract with Medius expires this summer.

Perello said the team received a significant level of interest from Web-service providers interested in developing a new site for the organization.

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