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In February 2005 Ellen MacArthur set a new solo, non-stop round the world record of 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds becoming the fastest solo sailor on the planet. But it was not just a new world record that had been set, the campaign managed by OC Sport achieved groundbreaking sponsorship and media results.

The campaign was backed by Kingfisher plc, Europe's largest home improvement retailer including B&Q in the UK and Castorama in France. In an innovative and ground-breaking concept, the record-breaking multihull was branded on one-side in B&Q colours and the other Castorama, with the relevant imagery channeled to each market. The distribution of images and content was so effective that the public in France believed Ellen's boat was blue and called 'Castorama', unaware of the 'orange' B&Q side of the boat!

Ellen MacArthur's record-breaking 75ft multihull (the Castorama brandedside).

"The spectacular level of media coverage has alerted sections of the media to the power of sponsorship in a way that no previous single event or occurrence has achieved. The whole package added up to one of the most successful marketing communication campaigns in recent history."

NIGEL CURRIE, CHAIRMAN OF THE EUROPEAN SPONSORSHIP ASSOCIATION

Ellen's record made headline news around the world, achieving an unprecedented media value for a sailing campaign and delivered multiple returns exceeding expectations. The campaign captured three Hollis Sponsorship awards for Ellen MacArthur's B&Q round the world record campaign..

Ellen MacArthur celebrating her new solo round the world record, February 2005.

"Spontaneous association of Ellen's campaign with her sponsor was nearly three-fifths of public, more than three times what you would expect for an established Premiership football sponsorship."

KEITH GLASSPOOLE, SPONSORSHIP RESEARCH, IPSOS

Ellen MacArthur's record-breaking B&Q trimaran.

"If we had seen this evaluation prior to the event I am sure we would have all agreed we would have been happy to achieve 10% of it. It is easy to say 'exceptional' but sometimes you forget what that really means."

DAVID ROTH, FORMER MARKETING DIRECTOR, B&Q

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