​Partner Key Insights: Business Development, Internal Engagement and De Lage Landen


To Clipper Race partners, although the racing is important and everyone wants to win, the race is about so much more than sailing. It is an opportunity for them to achieve commercial objectives and grow their business in new markets.

Several partners focus on business development goals as part of their partnership. Many including Forbes contributor ScottPollack believe that business development is the creation of long-term value for an organisation from customers, markets, and relationships. It’s about creating opportunities for that value to persist over the long-term, to keep the floodgates open so that value can flow indefinitely.

Clipper 2013-14 Race partner, De Lage Landen (DLL), showed that by hosting six customer events across key race stopovers they created the opportunity to add long-term value to their business. Customers were invited to attend Customer Advisory Board meetings and take part in a unique sailing team building challenge which led to a €100 million increase in new business revenue.

Another of DLL’s core objectives was to create an internal engagement programme to connect with 5,600 employees across the globe and become ‘One DLL’ – a one networked organisation.

Employee engagement is quickly becoming one of the most important indicators in gauging work satisfaction. Employees today are looking for more than just a 9-to-5 job. They want to be involved in their work, enthusiastic about the organisation they work for, and committed to their fellow workers.

According to research from the Harvard Business Review, which has found staff members that are engaged with their work also ranked among the most productive. In a survey of 568 companies with 500 or more employees, thestudy found that 71 per cent of managers feel employee engagement is one of the most important factors in overall organisational success.

Ten DLL employee activation events were scheduled at international stopovers across the course of the Clipper 2013-14 Race, with 1,388 employees attending. In the United States office CSR days saw 1,000 US employees join in initiatives linked to the Clipper Race, giving back to their local communities.

During the race the ‘One DLL’ ethos was bought into by their global network of offices and employees with 91 global teams, made up of 510 virtual sailors, signed up to the ‘Virtual Clipper Race’. These teams represented 30 nationalities and 47 DLL offices around the world.

Read more in depth results of the partnership between the Clipper Race and DLL here.