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Sold to the highest bidder! … Avaya Starts Auction of Giant Soccer Ball for "6 Villages for 2006" As Part of FIFA World Cup™ Activities


Giant soccer ball autographed by a host of well-known athletes and World Cup personalities is now part of online auction that runs through July 10

03-Jul-2006, FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany – Avaya is auctioning a giant leather soccer ball signed by celebrities from the sporting world to raise money for the “6 Villages for 2006” charity campaign set up by SOS Children’s Villages and FIFA on the occasion of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Bids for the huge soccer ball which measures 1.3 meters, or almost 4.5 feet, in diameter, can be placed online under the Stars & Charity section at until July 10. The ball will be presented to the highest bidder at an Avaya and FIFA press event in Munich, July 11.

The proceeds of the auction will go to the “6 Villages for 2006” campaign which is collecting donations from all over the world to construct and operate six new SOS Children’s Villages. Overall, the “6 Villages for 2006” project will benefit 1,000 families and 5,000 children and young people.

Avaya, (NYSE: AV), a leading global provider of business communications applications, systems and services, is providing the converged communications network for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ which connects over 70 locations throughout Germany including the FIFA World Cup stadiums, media centers and the FIFA HQ in Berlin.

The soccer ball has travelled around Europe since March of this year in a specially-outfitted Avaya truck that carried equipment from the converged network Avaya built for the FIFA World Cup. During the various stops of the Avaya truck, famous soccer players from participating countries as well as numerous sports veterans and stars from other disciplines signed the ball. Notable personalities including Sir Bobby Charlton (former UK soccer star who lead England to a World Cup victory); Rudi Völler, Germany’s World Cup leading player in the 1980s; German tennis star Boris Becker; Brazilian Formula 1 race car star Rubens Barrichello; and German swimming legend Franziska von Almsick, are just some of the signatures on the soccer ball.

Support for the “6 Villages for 2006” campaign for Children’s homes around the world
FIFA and SOS Children’s Villages are using the “6 Villages for 2006” campaign to collect donations from all over the world to build six new SOS Children’s Villages. The new villages are already being built in Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Ukraine and Vietnam, and will provide 800 needy children with a new home. Three SOS kindergartens, an SOS Hermann Gmeiner Grade School and four SOS Social Centres, all designed to support struggling families, are also being built. These facilities will also be available to children and families from the communities around the SOS Children’s Villages. Overall, the “6 Villages for 2006” project will benefit 1,000 families and 5,000 children.

Football unites the world … in a new and inspiring way
“When we say ’football unites the world, and Avaya connects it,’ it isn’t merely words. Avaya is delighted to be able to extend this sentiment beyond the sporting aspect with our charity auction,” said Andrea Rinnerberger, director of Avaya’s FIFA World Cup programme. “Our football bearing the autographs of sportspeople from all over the world symbolises the unifying effect of the sport beautifully. Thanks to ’6 Villages for 2006,’ it will be felt well beyond this event.”

“Children all over the world play football, even kicking about a tin can to transform them into Ronaldo or Klinsmann, to make perfect passes, shoot spectacular goals, and dream,” says Georg Willeit, Managing Director of the SOS Children’s Villages charity worldwide. “That’s why Avaya’s charity football auction fits in perfectly with our goals.”

SOS Children’s Villages needs approximately 18 million euros for the entire completion of the project and continues to seek support. For more information visit this link:

Avaya and SOS Children’s Villages have been working together as a result of the long-term business relationship that exists between the communications infrastructure provider and the charity. The online marketplace is available free of charge to Avaya and SOS Children’s Villages for this fundraiser.

SOS Children’s Villages worldwide
Hermann Gmeiner founded the first ever SOS Children’s Village in Imst in Tyrol, Austria in 1949. He believed that every abandoned child in need should once again have a mother, a family, a house and a village where they can grow up in safety like other children. These four principles led to the establishment of an international organisation, which relies primarily on private donations. Currently, children in 132 countries have found a new, safe home in 470 SOS Children’s Villages. In addition to the SOS Children’s Villages, there are also over 1,300 other SOS establishments such as kindergartens, schools, youth facilities, training and social centres, medical centres and emergency projects, which are also available to the communities around the SOS Children’s Villages.

“6 Villages for 2006” is the official charity campaign of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™. It will run until the final whistle of the World Cup to collect donations for the construction of six new SOS Children’s Villages. These villages will provide a total of 800 children with a new home and therefore with the chance of a better future.

About Avaya
Avaya, Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than one million businesses worldwide, including over 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol telephony systems and communications software applications and services.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications - and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services - Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya Web site:

About Avaya and the FIFA World Cup 2006™
As the Official Convergence Communication provider for the FIFA World Cup 2006™, Avaya is providing a champion communications network for the World’s largest sporting event. The converged network – that combines voice and data on the same infrastructure – will connect the 12 host stadiums, the international media centres in Munich, Berlin and Dortmund and the FIFA headquarters in Berlin. Players, coaches, volunteers and fans alike will benefit from the Avaya network that will be instrumental in player and journalist accreditation, the reporting of results, material tracking, accommodation confirmations, transportation, and ticketing among other critical functions. With an estimated 45,000 network connections, 30,000 network devices and over 15 terabytes (or 15,000,000,000,000 bytes) of data, it is the largest converged communication network ever built for a sporting event.


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