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March 24, 2010

Sony Launches "Earth F.C." to Support Worldwide
"Public Viewing in Africa" Project During 2010 FIFA World CupTM

- Develops a football based on a highly durable and environmentally conscious material, One simple "click" on "Earth F.C." site contributes to "dreams" of children in Africa -

Sony Corporation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are jointly launching the "Public Viewing in Africa" project during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. To coincide with this initiative, Sony today announced "Earth F.C." ( *Currently not accessible ), which aims to involve people around the world in support of the "Public Viewing in Africa" project.

With football in many African countries often being played in very demanding conditions, this can reduce the lifespan of footballs and shorten their duration of use. To address this issue, Sony has leveraged its expertise in material research to develop "Join the Team!," a highly durable*1 and environmentally conscious football made from vegetable-based plastic*2. This football will be used in support of the "Public Viewing in Africa" and "Earth F.C." initiatives. Furthermore, people around the world will be able to contribute to the provision of "Join the Team!" footballs to children in Africa, simply by making one click on the "Earth F.C." website.

The purpose of the "Earth F.C." initiative is to draw attention to the challenges Africa is facing (such as health issues including the spread of HIV and AIDS; limited access to information due to low TV penetration rates), and to communicate the need for support from around the world. The project will seek to raise awareness and encourage participation to unite the global community in support of the children of Africa.

The material used to create the "Join the Team!" football is not only highly durable, but also environmentally conscious, as it is formed using vegetable-based plastics. It features a dual layered surface, delivering durability 1.6 times conventional footballs. Based on Sony's desire to enable the children of Africa to use their footballs for as long as possible, material research laboratories that would normally develop materials for Sony products were central to the creation of the "Join the Team!" football. The efforts of these engineers resulted in this highly durable yet environmentally conscious vegetable-based plastic football, which will now be used for CSR activities.

The "Join the Team!" football embodies two aims: that the children of Africa may pursue their dreams together, and that people around the world can join the children of Africa, as part of the same team.
"1000 Click, 1 ball to AFRICA" on "Earth F.C." (Languages: Japanese, English and Spanish )
English and Spanish sites scheduled to launch on March 29th

1. By clicking the uniform on the
page, a ball will be "passed" to
the next "player."
2. After "passing" the football, it
is enlarged on the screen
3. Total number of passes,
participants, and donation balls
will appear. The site will soon be
linked to users' Twitter, Google
Buzz, Facebook and other

Participants in "Earth F.C." will be invited to make donations as follows (duration: from today through July 15, 2010):

(1)"One Click 'Pass' Donation": By accessing the "Earth F.C." website and clicking on the "Earth F.C." team T-Shirt, a football is then virtually "passed on" to the next person. One "Join the Team!" football will be donated for every 1,000 clicks. (max. donation: 1,000 footballs)
(2)Sony Memory Media (Memory Stick, SD Memory Card, and USB Flash Drive): Based on global sales of Sony memory media (from May 1 to May 31), one "Join the Team!" football will be donated every time cumulative memory capacity purchased reaches 10,000GB. (There is no upper limit for donations or quantity of footballs that can be purchased)
(3)"Earth F.C." Team T-Shirt: When a donation ticket (3,000 yen) is purchased at the "SonyStyle" online store, the same value will be allocated for the purchase of "Join the Team!" footballs. "Earth F.C." team T-Shirts will be awarded upon request to anyone that purchases a donation ticket. (first 1,000 customers, Japan only)
(4)"Earth F.C." Team T-Shirt (for avatars): A CSR activity involving "Earth F.C." team T-Shirts for avatars will be held in the "FevaArena" football community located in the "PlayStation®Home."*3
(5)Donation of "Sony Points": "Sony Points" that are conventionally used to purchase Sony products can be donated, and will then be used to purchase "Join the Team!" footballs. (Japan only) (There is no upper limit for donations or quantity of footballs that can be purchased)

Sony is targeting a total of 1 million clicks, and resulting donation of 3,000 "Join the Team!" footballs through "Earth F.C." activities, and the footballs will be presented to organizations (including UNDP and JICA) conducting social action programs related to football in Africa during and after the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"Team mates" supporting "Earth F.C." include Kaká, a representative of the Brazilian national football team, and Tsuyoshi Kitazawa, Special Chair, Japan Football Association and JICA Official Supporter.

Going forward, Sony will continue to expand its CSR activities, using its technological and R&D strengths to contribute to the social and economic development of the regions in which it operates.

"Join the Team!" football, and children playing on a poorly maintained football field

Sony's CSR activities towards the 2010 FIFA World Cup:
  • *1Based on a durability test conducted by Sony on March 23, 2010. The football has also been tested as a practice ball by the members of Sony-affiliated football team, "Sony Sendai FC." Its durability was also tested and proven during its use in June 2009 for a joint project with JICA in Ghana.
  • *2Sony is actively promoiting the use of vegetable-based plastics, for example in its products and health insurance cards for employees in order to reduce petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The bioplastic used on this occasion (made from oil derived from the seeds of the castor oil plant) is not only environmentaly conscious but also highly durable. For more information on the use of vegetable-based plastics in Sony products.
  • *3PlayStation®Home: Online community where users can meet, enjoy communication, and share their game experiences in a high resolution 3D space.
  • *All trade names are either registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective holders.
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