Challenge Business has announced a brand new and unique sponsor to add to its Global Challenge portfolio - Carte Blanche Greetings Ltd.
Carte Blanche owns the huge world-wide brand "Me to You", featuring the character "Tatty Teddy" - the grey bear with a blue nose found on cards, gifts and stationery in major high street chains including Clinton Cards, WH Smith and Asda, as well as independent card retailers in the UK and in more than 70 other countries around the World. Involvement of this kind with such a prestigious sporting event is a first in the greetings card market.
Stephen HAINES started the privately owned company in 1987. From small beginnings, the Chichester based company now has more than 190 staff, an annual turnover of £60m and is currently featured in the Sunday Times Top 100 Fast Track and Profit Track index. Today "Me to You" has a massive world-wide following. The Me to You website receives between 20-30 million hits per month, of those, 1.5-2 million are unique visits. In 2004 Carte Blanche also went live with two new websites to support the launches of new concepts Teddy Bigfoot and Bobble, the little blue owl.
Simon WALKER, Challenge Business' managing director, comments: "The sponsorship further demonstrates the breadth of companies attracted to the Global Challenge.
"We're delighted to welcome such a huge consumer brand to add to our high profile sponsorship community. Carte Blanche is a very fast moving, fresh, young company with lots of ideas about how to best exploit the opportunities of the race, and Me to You already has a very large and loyal following.
"We're looking forward to working with Carte Blanche and flying the flag of Me to You around the world. It's a real first for the Global Challenge."
Stephen HAINES, chairman of Carte Blanche Greetings commented, "Carte Blanche is delighted to be supporting this prestigious race through our sponsorship of the Me to You boat, and look forward to supporting the skipper and crew every step of the way.
He added, "The company recognises the benefits of involvement as the race reflects the our dedication to providing challenges and opportunities to all who wish to take them, and strongly encourages the core sentiments required to take part, which include a spirit of adventure, the passion to achieve and the pride of attainment. We have strong business links in many of the ports of call so we look forward to sharing the experience with our partners there."
Skipper, James ALLEN, 29, who will be behind the yacht and its emblazoned livery commented: "It's fantastic news for the team. Carte Blanche is really enthusiastic and has lots of ideas so we're all really excited about the sponsorship.
"I've actually just met the sponsor who gave us our 19th crew member - Tatty Teddy - who we'll be taking around the world, complete with drysuit, midlayers and his very own sailing boots. The Me to You fan base can expect to get dozens of postcards from Tatty Teddy as he travels around the world, although we'll naturally expect the same level of hard work demanded from the rest of the crew!"