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Robe boat sponsorship lights up P1 race series

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International lighting manufacturer chooses marine motorsport to extend its ‘working with winners’ initiative.

Have you ever seen the words powerboat racing, sponsorship and serendipity in the same sentence? It’s highly unlikely. Let’s explain. It’s a simple story…with a happy ending.

It all began last year with a chance meeting as part of a research & development project between a business man from Northamptonshire called Mick Hannaford and a motorsport engineer named Vin Burdock from Buckinghamshire. When Mick met Vin it didn’t become a romantic comedy film but it did lead to the two men shaking hands on an exciting sports sponsorship deal.

Mick is MD of Robe UK, a leading manufacturer of stage lighting for touring shows, concerts and theatre productions worldwide and, when he’s not playing around with race transmissions as a senior assembly technician, Vin is a powerboat racing driver who competes in the P1 SuperStock UK Championships. Robe is now sponsoring Vin’s team, Quantum Racing, in this season’s P1 race series. We did say there was a happy ending to the story.

The sponsorship extends Robe’s ‘Working With Winners’ programme that was launched in 2012 to highlight the affinity between the leading entertainment lighting manufacturer and its creative and varied customer base, focusing on the dedication and commitment needed for success both by the company and by sports people. Mick explains: “There are obvious parallels between the technologies and innovation involved in the worlds of powerboat racing and moving light manufacture. We are all fascinated by the adrenaline buzz of speed and the skills required to get the best out of a race boat in challenging conditions, and it’s great to be able to share the knowledge and experience of optimum performance generally.”

Robe and P1 are both internationally renowned and Mick says that working with Quantum Racing enables his business to offer its clients who are interested in knowing the engineering involved in this innovative, high-speed sport a close-up look or a fun day out at a great coastal location around the UK. Serendipity can be a wonderful thing.

Vin’s next race event will be in Cardiff later this month when, with his navigator John Donnelly alongside him in the cockpit of the P1 Panther, he will be looking for valuable championship points in the penultimate round of the season and to make it a weekend of celebrations for Robe.

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Roy Mantle

Roy Mantle has more than 25 years experience in sales, marketing, PR, sponsorship, events and sports management both in-house with blue-chip companies and as a consultant.

He founded and ran two successful sports marketing agencies in the 1980s before becoming head of PR & sponsorship for Guinness in 1992, where he first became interested in environmental issues.

He negotiated and helped to plan the activation programme for the Guinness sponsorship of the 1999 Rugby World Cup and managed the Guinness sponsorship of London Irish for nearly a decade.

He has worked on projects for the Department of Education since 2002, handled the Guinness sponsorship at Cheltenham Racecourse for more than 15 years and is currently Company Secretary & In-House PR for Powerboat P1.

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