Page 5: Merchandising
Another Task Force exists to merchandise the event and a merchandising company was appointed. With the press attention gained by the sponsorship, the event begins to develop a value that can be capitalised upon by various manufacturers and suppliers. Obviously such activity needs to be planned in advance and the value of the event does, to an extent, depend upon the success of the venture. If a new world record is established, then it will be possible to incorporate the theme and/or logo for the Royal & SunAlliance Challenge onto a range of goods. This is by far the largest Task Force. It includes:
- Internal Communications (a significant consideration for a company employing 42,000 people across the world). This is coordinated by Royal & SunAlliance’s own Internal Communications team.
- Financial and insurance trade press. This is co-ordinated by the Group’s own Corporate Affairs Department.
- Yachting press. This is controlled from the Race Office.
- Consumer TV, radio & press. This is co-ordinated by a company outside Royal & SunAlliance.
- he World Wide Web www.rsachallenge.com is managed by the Project Office in Horsham, West Sussex.
It is occasionally possible to provide links with various charities and community groups. Royal & SunAlliance has a long-standing relationship with The National Trust. The Round Britain & Ireland Challenge was of particular interest to The National Trust who established Enterprise Neptune in 1965, to protect and conserve the coastline of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Round Britain & Ireland Challenge therefore has a natural link with the Trust’s endeavours to preserve the coastline. Enterprise Neptune has been successful beyond expectations and now owns one sixth of the coastline in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. (A separate National Trust organisation exists in Scotland, although the pressures upon the coastline from increased urbanisation and industrialisation are not as great in Scotland as they are in parts of England and Wales.)
Divisional marketing co-ordination
An organisation the size of Royal & SunAlliance is organised into divisions with their own marketing functions and product ranges. At Group level, the company has provided a means whereby individual divisions can enhance their own marketing plans (press ads, direct mail, product launches etc.) by incorporating the image/values of the sponsorship. This process has already started and will mature further as the major event (i.e. the Round the World Challenge) approaches.
All the Task Forces draw upon specialist resources, both internal and external, to support their activities. They include the design consultancies, facilities management companies, printers, Internet service providers, electronics specialists and many others. Their support has been vital to meet the demands of the project, often working within very short lead-times.