Thursday, 01 Aug 2013
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Hungary: The Other British Winner At The Hungaroring
British Embassy Budapest
The Emerging Europe GREAT campaign launched at the Hungarian Grand Prix 25-28 July. Spectacular successes in business promotion at the circuit, at our GP party and through a 7-strong fleet of branded Minis touring Budapest and beyond. Real, tangible business benefits immediately harvested. Many more to come.
We used Central Europe’s only regular global sporting event, the Hungarian GP, to launch Emerging Europe’s GREAT campaign.Focusing on the high tech, automotive and energy sectors in particular we aimed at making a significant impact, driving up business contacts and contracts through our project.Our programme fell into three parts: a GP party before the race, a tour of Budapest and its main business and tourist sites by a fleet of GREAT branded Minis, and a muscular presence at the track itself, centred on a branded classic Routemaster bus.
The GP Party
On 28 July, the first day the GP teams were in town, we held a spectacular GP themed party.Senior figures from the Hungarian and regional business community attended, as well as the Hungarian cabinet minister responsible for infrastructure and energy spending, all drawn in by the prospect of meeting British F1 team members. Some 160 business contacts attended. They loved the style of the party, the chance to mingle with the Williams and Marussia team, and the insight into F1 that an address by the Marussia Team President offered. In his speech, the Ambassador promoted the excellence of British innovation and high-end engineering and the undoubted opportunities to exploit that in Emerging Europe. The text was published the following day as an op-ed in a leading Hungarian daily. By the end of the party the joint Warsaw/Budapest team had engaged with all the business contacts. It helped that the Hungarian winners of Britain’s Got Talent, friends of the Embassy, performed a world premiere of their latest routine for guests.
The Mini-ficent 7
The following day we unleashed our fleet of seven GREAT branded Minis onto an unsuspecting Budapest. Three came from Poland. Four we sourced and branded locally. The fleet called in at iconic Budapest sites, British business venues and photogenic Hungarian business and industrial venues as well as touring the liveliest parts of town. The fleet turned heads, got some great photo shots for use in subsequent marketing, and featured in much of the local media. We then parked 5 of the Minis outside the Embassy in downtown Budapest and the other 2 outside the hotels where both the F1 teams and the leading visiting businessmen stay.We even got one of the hotels to hang a union flag on every one of its 16 flagpoles for the duration of the GP. And we stationed staff next to these cars on the Saturday to explain to the passing pedestrian traffic all about GREAT and the opportunities for business.
At the Track
Our main push for business, though, was at the track itself. Inside our 1940s Routemaster we installed the cutting edge equipment needed to run webinars with British companies on our priority sectors. With the sound of racing engines revving and helicopters delivering drivers in the background we engaged with around 60 British companies.
Thereafter the bus became our venue for unprogrammed business meetings. Over the three days of the racing weekend we hosted ad hoc meetings with potential new business contacts and engaged with thousands of passing F1 fans for conversations about the links between Great Britain and F1. BBC commentators Martin Brundle and David Coulthard also dropped in for a chat about GREAT. We will use the interview the Ambassador did with them on the UK, advanced engineering, and F1 in our marketing materials and make it available more widely. The bus also attracted the attention of a good number of media outlets, keen to know why we were there. Among them was Sky Sports who, having interviewed the driver Max Chilton on our top deck, had a 2 minute live piece on Emerging Europe with HM Ambassador Warsaw.
Our activity at the track was not limited to the bus, though. Using contacts gained at our party and in the company of his automotive specialist, David Nagy, the Ambassador spent a good deal of time with senior figures of many of the British F1 and GP 2 teams. Both explaining the Emerging Europe offer and investigating how we might help them in a market they had not yet tapped. There are strong prospects here too. And, through the teams, for work with their British-based sponsors.
The outcome of our GREAT race weekend was better than we had hoped for. Great contact making; great promotion work; and great business returns – we estimate that already, we have leads which will give us over 65% of our business target. Much of it for Emerging Europe markets outside Hungary.
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