Following my lunch meeting with HYT, the Swiss watch manufacturer, I went away and did some serious thinking. How could I convince this company to back my team’s entry into the Gumball 3000? What would be in it for them?
Firstly, in already having purchased one of their watches, the HYT Skull 51mm Green Eye, I could identify with the brand. HYT is young, innovative and it’s a piece that never fails to attract glances or questions from those I meet. It might be polarising because of its size or design, but it is never anything but intriguing.
So I wrote to them with some thoughts. I suggested that, in return for cash sponsorship, my team could be called ‘Team HYT’, something I thought had a great ring to it. To go with this, I suggested the car could be modified in some way to portray a connection between it and them; the ‘hydromechanical horologists’. Given the amount of attention the rally gets, I thought it might be a great way of attracting press coverage but in a subtler manner than other brands sometimes do. If they didn’t go for that, then perhaps they might consider sponsoring the car in another way; for example, each vehicle has two spaces for own brand advertising in addition to the Gumball 3000 livery.
Another option was that they provide a watch for me to wear during the rally, as a way of personally introducing the brand to whoever I met and, of course, on social media.
I had no idea what they would go for, if indeed they would go for any of my ideas, but I had given it my best shot.
So I was absolutely elated (!) when I received an email proposing:
- That they develop and produce my very own bespoke HYT watch; and
- That I visit their HQ in Neuchâtel, Switzerland to show me around their manufacturing plant and to discuss the project further face to face.
So there it was; what amazing news and proof that fortune favours the brave! The first piece of the jigsaw had fallen into place and, being honest, more than I could possibly have ever imagined.