The Client

British sailor Alex Thomson is one of the world’s most accomplished solo offshore sailors. Competing in the high speed, extreme IMOCA 60 class, Thomson has broken multiple records and achieved countless accolades throughout his decorated career to date.

The youngest skipper ever to win a round-the-world yacht race, Thomson holds the British solo, unassisted round-the-world monohull record, which he set in 2017 after finishing the gruelling Vendée Globe race – ‘the Everest of sailing’ – in just 74 days, 19 hours, 35 minutes. Having finished the 2012 and 2016 editions of the Vendée Globe in third and second place respectively, Thomson is targeting victory in 2020 onboard the inimitable HUGO BOSS racing yacht.

The Challenge

Building on the success of their partnership with Nokia Bell Labs, the Alex Thomson Racing team approached Brandwave to design and build The Hub to take their fan engagement to the next level.

The Hub needed to bring fans behind the scenes with a fully immersive 360 degree tour of the yacht, as well as deliver comprehensive team insights and live biometric / race tracking data visuals

The initial platform was to be flexible and built in a way that allowed for further metrics to be added. This would help enable the team to bring fans closer than ever before to life onboard HUGO BOSS in the 2020 Vendée Globe.

Offshore sailing is one of the most isolated sports, taking place in the most remote locations on Earth. It’s been awesome to work with the Alex Thomson Racing crew to turn offshore sailing & the Vendée Globe into more of a spectator sport to keep the fans engaged and connected to all the race action!

Oliver RobinsonKey Account Director

The Result

To meet the challenge, we consolidated and built a suite of custom WordPress plugins which were then stylised in line with the team’s new visual ID, providing custom CSS-based, mobile-responsive animations. This approach allowed us to process a high volume of regular data from two separate sources (Nokia Bell Labs & Geovoille) and present to fans in a consumable format via dynamic visuals.

Due to the unpredictable nature of offshore racing and maintaining a competitive edge, it is important for the admin team to easily manage and have full control over all data.