DSM Dyneema started a marketing campaign that is unique in the world. By coincidence one of the crew members read that there was some kind of contest, 40 skippers worldwide can win a complete new running rigging. He registered and informed the skipper and some of the crew members. This was the start of the DET2011 for Team Redan. The campaign idea proves to be brilliant, it makes full use of social media. Just type Dyneema Sailing in Google, you tube or Flickr and see the result ! . As a team we gained a lot by participating, not only new lines but a real Dyneema Experience. In this memo I like to summarize what we gained and how we think how a next experience can be even better.
Team Redan gained:
- In preparing for the Dyneema Experience all team members were asked to search for followers in their circles of friends and relatives. This resulted in a greater awareness of our team, increased visits on our Blog and Youtube channel and hundreds of followers on DE. It also resulted in more understanding at our home base for our hobby.
- In preparing for the DE we teamed up with Rake Rigging. We discussed how new lines and rigging adaptions could improve Redan’s performance. The first results already showed before the Dyneema lines arrived!
- Rake Rigging advised on what lines to wish for, resulting in an optimal configuration request for Redan.
- Rake Rigging added value by professionally preparing and splicing the lines. Often the knot or the splice is the weakest point in a halyard or a sheet. We trust the combination we have on board now.
- The whole team started thinking about what properties of a Dyneema line really contributed to our performance. This resulted in more qualities than the well-known lack of stretch and extraordinary strength. We added properties like grip in a cleat, softness to the hands, ease to release a sheet in a tack etcetera. This feedback resulted in a new Development by Lancelin to construct a line with a mixed fiber mantle. Team Redan was the first to profit from the properties of this line.
- In discussing with our fellow DE winners on Facebook we build an international network of enthusiastic sailors.
- Unlike previous seasons we have not suffered from material failures during this racing season.
- Team Redan is one of the top boats, if not the top boat, in the Dutch Regatta scene. This year’s pricelist is impressive. It started with winning the prestigious IJspegel series, winning the year’s top event, the North Sea Regatta, winning Lenco regatta, and this list of victories will continue. We expect to win the 2011 Verbondsbezem. This is the price from the Royal Dutch Sailing Federation for the overall best performing boat during the season. The DE helped us in getting to this level.
- We had a lot of fun creating Dyneema experience movies, stories, pictures and so on. and grew our Social Media skills during the DE.
W e appreciated the opportunity DSM offered Team Redan to renew the running rigging on the Redan. However this was clearly the first edition of a Dyneema Experience and we feel DSM underestimated some aspects of such an event. We like to summarize some potential improvements for a next DE.
- Strictly define what contestants can win and what not. Define running rigging. What lines are included and what not. Define what services the supplier has to perform: Advice on material selection? Splicing yes or no? Installation on the boat? Etcetera. For Team Redan and many other contestants this was not clear from the start.
- Work together with a selected group of line and rigging suppliers. Make clear agreement with those suppliers. Team Redan was exited with Rake Rigging and Lancelin. We sometimes felt sorry for the contestants who depended on other suppliers. The lack of performance of those suppliers gave DSM and the DE a bad name: should not happen again. All contestants should have a comparable service level. Also have a backup in place.
- Determine planning milestones and deadlines, make sure you can make them and communicate them to the contestants. When do you receive the rigging template, when should it be delivered to the suppliers at what moment is the rigging delivered etc.
- The performance of a line is related to the whole configuration. Think about teaming up with suppliers of cleats and blocks. Or think about requirements on this configuration before installing the lines. To prepare for the DE team Redan also invested in a revision of the cleats, new blocks, forestay adjusters, backstay adjusters and so on. Rake Rigging advised us in this upgrade process. Compare it to building a new strong engine in an old car. The engine will ruin the gearbox, transmission and so on. The new motor will get the blame. The whole rigging configuration should be in balance. An unbalanced configuration will result in a negative experience.
- Make sure the contestants can explain about Dyneema. I.e why the selected SK75, SK 78 or SK 90 for the respective lines.
- Ask for commitment; panelize selected contestants that are not active after receiving the rigging (which is a very expensive price). If you do not want to play the game than do not enter.
- Test the website. Make sure it is bug free. We found several bug in the initial website. For example: Some of our followers did not show up in the list of followers, but were also not able to enlist again.
- Take control of the social media. The competitors in the DE founded their own Facebook site. This site is out of control of DSM. Set rules on the use of the name Dyneema, DSM etcetera. The social media should be integrated in the website.
- Get more publicity out of the DE. Team up with sailing blogs or magazines. In theBeneluxi.e. clubracer.be, Sailreport.nl, Zilt etc. Get press releases out. Promote the DE on boat shows (i.e. Hiswa in theNetherlands) Provide the teams with publicity material. Team Redan would have been happy to wear Dyneema shirts sweaters and so on. This would have been visible on all Dutch regatta sites. More people would have asked our enthusiastic team members about Dyneema.
- Involve Sailors in defining and reviewing the Challenges and in the communication (act as a coach in the social media). We expected more in depth product related challenges. Also the jury should explain why the winners where selected.
- Introduce an interesting price per Challenge and an overall price for the top 3. This will improve commitment and a continues flow of Social media. Not all Sailors can focus on the Dyneema Experience for the whole year. Sometimes we go Sailing 😉
A long list al together but remember: Team Redan is a proud member of the Dyneema Experience Team and is enjoying every minute
Thank You DSM for this opportunity and the GREAT FANTASTIC NEW running rigging !