Identity / Art Direction / Strategy / PR / Activation
Brunel provides business services specialising in flexible deployment of professionals in the field of Engineering, IT, Legal, Finance and all disciplines in the Oil and Gas industry. This article is written by Frank de Weijer who was Creative Director on the sponsorship campaign.
In the 2014-2015 edition of the world’s most prestigious sailing competition, Brunel was title sponsor of Team Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race. After winning the pitch, CONSPIRACYSINC together with our partners at BEGIN, became responsible for communicating and activating the sponsorship the world over. Facing the challenge of opening up the confined world of sailing to bring it to broader global audiences, we set out to actively involve all of Brunel’s target audiences and connect the nine-month global event to the brand’s goals and ambitions.
Since in this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race all teams sail identical boats, everything comes down to professionalism and teamwork. From sailors to clients, from candidates to employees, success is a team effort and it’s the people that make the difference. These insights formed the basis for a cross medium podium to activate the core values of Brunel and engage their target groups with a clear call to action: Get On Board!
Get On Board is an active invitation to all target audiences to get involved. With a mix of branded content, publicity and online and offline activation, we moved the sponsorship from the niche of sailing to a much wider global audience. Branded content, Q&A;’s, events and social dialogue kept Brunel’s target groups on their toes for more than nine months. Judged on the extreme conditions the sailors face, Jimmy Nelson, was invited to portray Team Brunel as a tribe in New Zealand. Social scraping enabled us to funnel all relevant content about the race, the sailors and the brand via the central online platform teambrunel.com. Here we also boosted support for Team Brunel through our online fan-gagement platform called Drop a Buoy.
Officially labelled the most remarkable sponsorship activation campaign by the organisation of the Volvo Ocean Race, Get On Board stood out by literally involving fans, public, clients, candidates and employees and making them part of one common Brunel experience. With more than 75,000 followers on social, over 20,000 fan messages via Drop a Buoy, tangible business results and millions worth of media impressions the campaign reached far beyond the usual sailing in-crowd.
“With the campaign’s success came tangible business results for Brunel. We increased average visitor stats on the Brunel website from a few hundred per week to more than 10,000 and by multiplying specialist candidate inflow (Brunel’s main commodity) tenfold.”
“They’re one hundred per cent a tribe. They are a tight unit and completely in their zone, which makes it hard to come in. Especially in four days. I was desperate to spend a month with them on the boat."
“Pinnacle of the campaign was the Drop A Buoy fangagement platform because it offered ways to support a sailing team in the middle of the ocean. The game used satellite tracking technology linked to Google Maps to follow the boat all around the world and let fans drop digital support messages to the team along the race route.”