PALO ALTO and BURBANK, Calif., Oct. 9, 2003 – HP (NYSE:HPQ) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) today launched a 10-year strategic alliance devoted to elevating consumer entertainment experiences through the collaborative development of new technologies and enhanced entertainment experiences.
The companies continue to push the boundaries of imagination through technological innovation for their customers, with a focus on digital entertainment. As one of the leading enterprise technology companies in the world, HP provides the infrastructure to distribute secure digital content through a range of channels, and, as the leading consumer technology company in the world, it helps connect Disney to a new generation of customers. In turn, Disney brings a name that is synonymous with quality, world-class entertainment, phenomenal creative content and unparalleled guest experiences, coupled with its own cutting-edge, high-tech experience and innovations. Combined, these areas of expertise foster a unique alliance for both companies across many platforms and businesses.
“HP is proud to be the technology provider supporting much of what makes the Disney experience magical. HP is the only company with the depth and breadth of consumer and enterprise technology solutions used throughout The Walt Disney Company, coupled with extensive entertainment experience and know-how,” said Carly Fiorina, HP chairman and chief executive officer. “We are honored to be part of Disney’s past and its present – and we’re even more committed to working with Disney to build the future.”
“Disney and HP are highly successful brands that constantly try to deliver more compelling products and experiences to customers by applying technology, and this common thread is what makes this terrific alliance tick,” said Bob Iger, Disney president and chief operating officer. “With Disney’s phenomenal creative content, unparalleled guest experiences, and expertise in technological innovation, adding HP to the team strengthens our respective positions as leaders in the world of digital entertainment.”
HP and Mission: SPACE Today, the companies’ collaborative efforts are being celebrated with the launch of the Mission: SPACE attraction at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort, the most technologically advanced ride developed by Disney to date. For several years, HP engineers have worked with Disney Imagineers in the Mission: SPACE technological design and in the development of the Post Show area known as the “Advanced Training Lab,” which showcases how HP technology powers and builds upon the attraction’s story through a range of compelling experiences.
“The fantastic teamwork exhibited between Disney and HP during the creation of Mission: SPACE certainly makes this the crowning achievement of a wonderful alliance,” said Jay Rasulo, president, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. “I’m confident that like the outer reaches of space, the creative potential for this relationship knows no bounds.”
HP and the Walt Disney Internet Group
HP technologies have worked behind the scenes for the Walt Disney Internet Group since 2000, serving approximately 90 million page views a day to as many as 40 million unique users a month, with hugely popular Web sites such as Disney.com, ESPN.com, ABCNEWS.com, FamilyFun.com, ABC.com, Movies.com and more. From WDIG Motion, media rich content that blurs the lines between television and Internet and which is currently available on ABC.com, ESPN.com and Movies.com, to “Disney’s Toontown Online,” the first massively multiplayer 3D online game for kids and families, HP technology solutions work seamlessly within the Walt Disney Internet Group to elevate consumers’ online entertainment experiences.
Most recently, HP and the Walt Disney Internet Group expanded their relationship with a new two-year agreement. HP will continue to be a media sponsor of several Disney-owned sites, including ESPN.com, ABCNews.com and Disney.com, and is the exclusive sponsor of “Disney’s Magic Artist Online,” a compelling, content-rich site that offers children and parents a range of innovative print projects. HP will also continue to be the preferred technology provider of the Walt Disney Internet Group. HP technology solutions touch a wide-range of Disney applications.
For Disney and HP, working in collaboration on the Mission: SPACE attraction – the most technologically sophisticated theme park attraction Disney has ever dreamed up – is the latest chapter in a relationship that first began more than 60 years ago. A collaborative relationship that first touched moviegoers in 1940, today reaches Internet users and theme park guests.
The seed was planted when Bill Hewlett modified his first invention – an oscillator – to help Walt Disney fine-tune the acoustics in movie theaters presenting the animated 1940 film classic Fantasia. The collaborative relationship grew in 1998, when HP became an anchor of the new Innoventions showcase at Disneyland® Park and the power behind a range of activities at DisneyQuest® Interactive Theme Park.
- oversaw Disney’s e-mail consolidation project, consolidating from 190 locations in 40 countries with 17 systems to one unified system;
- provides The Walt Disney Company’s worldwide PC standard with 70,000 desktop PCs and Intel®-based server standard with 10,000 servers in place;
- provides complete management of the Walt Disney Internet Group’s help desk and PC support;
- supports The Walt Disney Company as a major user of HP OpenView management software;
- provides 13,000 HP LaserJet printers at the Walt Disney World Resort alone;
- provides Walt Disney Feature Animation with HP’s Linux-based workstations and servers as components in its next-generation digital animation production pipeline; and
- is behind many of the control systems of Disneyland’s current fireworks display at the Disneyland Park, “Believe, there’s Magic in the Stars.”
In addition, HP has worked closely with Disney in the implementation of the wireless handheld translation devices, called “Ears to the World,” recently introduced to help guests with limited English fluency to enjoy a more memorable experience at the Walt Disney World Resort. The lightweight headsets use wireless technology to provide synchronized narration in five languages at more than 25 popular Walt Disney World attractions.
Joint marketing initiatives
Today, the companies’ work on the Mission: SPACE attraction is being commemorated with a nationwide marketing campaign to celebrate the ride’s launch. The campaign celebrates how the Mission: SPACE attraction brings the space flight experience to Earth for Epcot guests in a way that NASA astronauts even described as “the real deal.”
The campaign includes TV, print, outdoor, interactive and in-store promotions, as well as a nationwide consumer sweepstakes. Print ads will appear in USA Today, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Newsweek and Fortune, among other national media outlets that appeal to tech savvy families. Ads will also appear in 25 local market newspapers nationwide, including Florida, where the Walt Disney World Resort is located.
In conjunction with the advertising campaign, HP is reaching out to consumers through HP’s first-ever consumer sweepstakes. Supported with national media, as well as an in-store promotion at Office Depot, it offers entrants an opportunity to win one of 10 family trips for four to Epcot with the ability to “travel to Mars” for New Year’s Eve on the Mission: SPACE attraction and to have their home outfitted with the latest in HP wireless networking and entertainment technology. Ads for the promotion will run in Better Homes and Gardens, People, “O” Magazine and Time, among others.
The Walt Disney Company is a diversified, international family entertainment and media enterprise with affiliates including Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, The Walt Disney Studios, ABC, Inc., ESPN, Disney Channel, Disney Consumer Products, television and radio stations and Internet Web sites.
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing for consumers, enterprises and small and medium businesses. For the last four quarters, HP revenue totaled $71.3 billion. More information about HP is available at www.hp.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove incorrect, could cause the results of HP and its consolidated subsidiaries to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including any projections of earnings, revenues, or other financial items; any statements of the plans, strategies, and objectives of management for future operations; any statements concerning proposed new services or developments; any statements regarding future economic conditions or performance; statements of belief and any statement of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. The risks, uncertainties and assumptions referred to above include employee management issues; the timely development, production and acceptance of services and their feature sets; the challenge of managing asset levels, including inventory; the difficulty of keeping expense growth at modest levels while increasing revenues; and other risks that are described from time to time in HP’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended July 31, 2003 and HP’s other Securities and Exchange Commission reports filed after HP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2002. HP assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.