The company wanted to organise a football World Cup event to fulfill three clear business objectives: To integrate sales teams from the Americas, Asia and Europe; to increase printer sales; and to reward partners. The qualification criteria were designed by Epson in Europe to ensure the programme had pan-Eruopean reach and would boost sales of WorkForce Pro RIPS printers in the key territories required. The ten best partners in each country were selected for the tournament through selected criteria.
On the first day of the event, all the players gathered for a welcome dinner, sampling the Old Trafford hospitality. The draw for the group stages of the tournament also took place. "Each player had been photographed on arrival and was shown on the big screen as each team was named before the draw, just like on TV sport shows, helping the diverse audience to bond," said Sam Robson, event director at The Appointment Group. "This was a complex logistical exercise, but a great way of making people feel included and getting everyone to know each other. It’s details like this that really make a difference."
The second day of the programme took place on Manchester United’s official training pitches, with each of the teams split by nationality, fighting it out to make it to the finals. Before the games began a host of United legends appeared to offer expert advice and support, including Dwight Yorke and Brian Robson.
The tournament culminated in a Finals day, which saw each team walk from United’s home and away changing rooms, through the official Players’ Tunnel.
Through follow-up research, the company reported that 95% of participants recorded the whole experience as excellent.
"We had very good feedback from our staff and customers and we all felt really proud of the whole event," says Maria Eagling, director of marketing at Epson. "The use of our amazing assets with access to renowned locations and legendary football players succeeded in rewarding the best WorkForce Pro RIPS partners in these markets with a 'money can’t buy' experience that has really helped us to reinforce key relationships."
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