World Cup technician and information systems architect Ron Hare ’85 visits Doane
For the 2018 Homecoming theme of “Worldwide Doane,” Ron Hare ’85 was a fitting choice to return to campus to speak as part of Doane’s Homecoming events.
Hare has traveled the world working as director of technology for Eurotech Global Sports (EGS), a company that provides a wide range of information technology and consulting services to support any type of event. The company's main event it works on also happens to be one of the largest events in the world -- the World Cup.
For the last six FIFA World Cups, EGS has been the global systems integrator responsible for overseeing the delivery of the IT solution for the World Cup.
Although the World Cup happens once every four years, it is a four year project for EGS that requires planning, development, and implementation around the clock. Each country that hosts the World Cup will have 10-12 stadiums to host the games, that each requires its own information network. In many cases, countries build stadiums only to support this event.
EGS provides a private network for all of the stadiums, hotels, and office buildings associated with the World Cup. In 1998, when EGS partnered with FIFA for the France World Cup, the group built an information system used in the media center for journalists to access a database of statistics, results, and team information. This was during the boom of the Internet and the work EGS was doing was revolutionary.
One project, in particular, became the landmark for Hare’s career.
Hare was the Chief Technologist for the ‘98 World Cup and developed France98.com, which is one of the most successful websites ever. It was one of the first websites to use dynamic content and publish real-time results. Live scoring and statistics were a part of the site - something that had never been done up until that point.
The site received 1.1 billion hits during the World Cup and is recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records (2001) for recording the most hits in a 24-hour period, one hour, and most hits in one minute (June 1998).
“The France 98 website was probably my biggest accomplishment professionally,” Hare said. “It was not an easy thing to deliver at that time with the technology that was available. Only four people were involved on writing the code for the site.”
Prior to working for Eurotech, Hare worked at Electronic Data Systems in Detroit, Michigan, working in the Engineering Development Program. As a programmer, he went through multiple training programs that helped give him the knowledge and experience to build out the France 98 website.
When Hare joined EGS in 2001, he became one of the founding members of the company.
The last six World Cups Hare has worked on include:
1998 - France
2002 - South Korea/Japan
2006 - Germany
2010 - South Africa
2014 - Brazil
2018 - Russia
While Hare lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, his work with Eurotech Global Sports has brought him to 40 different countries.
His visit to Doane was just the third time he had been back to campus since he graduated, and it was the first Homecoming he experienced. To this day, he credits the education and experiences he received at Doane for a lot of his successes today.
“The Doane experience builds a well-rounded person,” Hare said. “A Doane graduate has a bit more breadth and that has served me well, especially later in my career when I wasn’t just an IT guy, but also a CFO.”