Brilliance deserves the limelight

Brilliance deserves the limelight especially when the dreams of young people depend upon it.

Objective 1: To help secure sponsorship

HA was appointed to raise the profile of the Cambridge University Eco Racing (CUER) team in order to help them secure sponsorship to enter a vehicle for the World Solar Challenge 2013.

As a student led project the team needed to communicate their credibility as well as their ambition, innovation and passion, to attract the attention of sponsors and supporters if they were to realise their dream.

To attract media attention you need something tangible to demonstrate. Although the vehicle hadn’t been built, CUER had a vehicle from a previous race (2009) and plans for their new vehicle.


HA developed a story about how a rule change, a year into the two year build, had meant the students had to go back to the drawing board, but despite this had a innovative concept that would be game-changing.

Journalists were invited to a preview of the plans before their official launch and to drive the older solar car.


Coverage in key racing and green vehicle publications including Front Seat Driver, Green Car Website, Motortorque, as well as broadcast media and extensive online activity which drove traffic to the website and boosted followers on their social media profiles. The team secured their sponsorship and gained more media interest in following their progress.











Objective 2: To gain profile ahead of the race

Although the team had received support for the build of the vehicle they were short of cash to purchase the solar cells and transport the vehicle to the race.

As part of its sponsorship CUER had secured the prestigious Millbrook Proving Ground; testing facilities for some of the latest concept cars and new models before they go on sale for a launch event.


HA want to generate goodwill and buzz for the launch. Research revealed that CUER was the only British entry and that their vehicle had been designed to race 3000km across Australia on the equivalent power of a hair dryer.

This created a story idea for the press release and everyone was sworn to secrecy until the vehicle was unveiled at Millbrook. This created a good story angle for media of all types and a reason for journalists to attend the launch, which was early morning on a Friday.


HA positioned the solar-powered car as highly innovative and radically different to anything seen before, but with a strong rationale for the innovation so that it was of interest to industry.

As well as the technical elements of the car, we also demonstrated the human side of the team, communicating the difficulties CUER’s drivers would have piloting a car for 4 hours stints, in 40°C heat with no air conditioning. This was achieved by having drivers available to talk to the media.

Journalists were invited to the launch event at Millbrook which was pitched as a preview to create excitement and intrigue about what CUER had created.


The team was featured by BBC, ITV and BBC 4Tech and achieved coverage in a number of national newspapers and newsstand publications such as WIRED. The press association visited CUER in Cambridge which resulted in articles in a range of regional publications across the UK.

CUER was also featured in a number of publications across automotive, engineering, technology, green energy, solar and business publications as well as interviews on BBC Radio 5 Live, ABC Radio National Australia and several regional radio stations.

CUER achieved the backing they required to complete work on the car and flew out to Australia to compete in the World Solar Challenge.

©2015 Holdsworth Associates