Page 4: Project management
The very size of the sponsorship is such that no one person should seek to control all aspects of it. Project management skills feature highly amongst the other range of skills required to mount a project like this. A formal project structure with defined responsibilities, roles and budgets needed to be created and a high degree of teamwork developed. The project structure is on a tiered approach:
Steering Group. This is the strategic level that decides upon matters of policy and direction. Members of the Steering Group are not involved in the day to day running of the project. Management Board and Divisional Managing Directors are represented within the Steering Group, which meets on a monthly basis. The Project Team. This is the main driving force, decision making and co-ordinating body of the project. It meets at the same time/place every week for a fairly formal presentation of progress and plans. The head of each operational Task Force is represented on the Project Team and it is the Task Forces, each with a defined area of responsibility, resources and plans, which are the main implementers. Each Task Force head produces a weekly report that is issued to the Project Team prior to the weekly meeting in order to keep discussion to a minimum.
Task Forces exist for:
Boat & crew
A technical project manager oversees the Race Office based on the River Hamble, Hampshire. His responsibilities include office staff, crew, electronic equipment, sails, rigging, painting, livery, mooring etc. In fact everything related to the boat and the crew. Technology in the world of sailing moves on very quickly. Developments in recent years have enabled Royal & SunAlliance’s weight to be minimised to under 10 tonnes. The boat uses hitech materials and techniques. The mainsail is made of a composite material called Spectra and the bright yellow sails used a new ink bonding process designed to withstand the elements and maintain their bright colour.
TV & media
Companies do not necessarily have all the skills available in-house to mount a project such as this. Even large companies sometimes require the services of outside specialists. Although dealings with the financial and insurance press are common, Royal & SunAlliance required assistance in negotiations with television companies and the consumer press. The Royal & SunAlliance Challenge has attracted so much media interest that a documentary covering the three challenges is to be produced for broadcasting in the UK and for sale across the world. The press announcement and official naming in the UK and its visit to New York attracted extensive media interest. This Task Force is managed by an external company but is fully integrated into the sponsorship's project management.
Opportunities for sub-sponsorship exist within the project. The investment in the sponsorship and the advertising support that it has received in the national press gives other companies the opportunity to piggy-back part of their own marketing effort onto this successful project. A package of benefits is being offered to potential sub-sponsors. One of these is with Computacenter. The shore-based teams and the catamaran Royal & SunAlliance are receiving all the IT equipment needed to run a project of this size and complexity. Computacenter is now acknowledged as an Official IT Supplier to the Royal & SunAlliance Challenge. Other sub-sponsorships for cameras, film, cars, cosmetics, clothes, food/drink, hotels, telecommunications equipment, watches and vision equipment have now been negotiated or are being discussed at present.