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Clipper Ventures plc -09/10 Round The World Case Study

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The Client

Clipper Ventures plc own the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race.  It is a unique event. The only yacht race in the world to offer the opportunity for non-professional sailors to compete in ‘big boats’ and circumnavigate the globe. The website is a key part of marketing and promotion, as well as the conduit for people interested in taking part to sign up and for following the race while it happens. The Race lasts 10 months and the crews race hard, for 35,000 miles, stopping in many vibrant and exciting ports along the way.

The Brief

Clipper Ventures asked us to restructure their Round The World Website, to create a logical and straightforward customer journey, where any of the expected user groups would be able to navigate their way around the site with ease. In addition, Clipper asked us to refresh the branding of the site, to make it strongly consistent with the rest of their distinctive material. The client also wanted to have flexibility to update a range of video content and static images and site content, and to keep the site current with daily news updates.

The Solution

We unpicked the site and went back to first principles to ensure the expected user groups could easily navigate their way around the site and find the information they were seeking.  Agreeing the navigation structure before other work started has been fundamental to creating a clear and logical website that performs for our client. Our designers worked with Clipper’s other agencies to bring the branding into alignment.  We had a clear project plan that all parties were aware of – even when the timetable for launch was brought in a week, through close planning we were able to meet the new deadline.

There are three phases to the Race: crew recruitment, allocation of crew and the Race itself, each phase having distinct requirements from the website. Our strategy for the website development was to mirror the phases, teasing the audience with new sections and content released at the relevant phase.

The Result

Clipper was so delighted with the results achieved for the 09-10 race (a Sold Out position for the first time in their history) that they commissioned us to develop the website and Apps for the 11-12 race.  Once again this resulted in a Sold Out position and by the end of the 11-12 race 85% of capacity had been booked for the 13-14 race and people making commitments to be part of the 15-16 race.

The 11-12 site attracted over 9 million site visitors worldwide.


We commissioned Digital Chapter to perform a thorough audit on three of the RSM’s websites – we wanted someone to look under the bonnet of each site and to help us to improve the efficiency of them. Digital Chapter produced a detailed technical and usability report which has allowed us to address some of the optimisation and accessibility issues. We are very pleased with the value added.

Janice Liverseidge, Director of Communications and Marketing, The Royal Society of Medicine (RSM)

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