New Volvo Ocean Race Trophy Will Not Come From Crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing has become trendy in recent years. The concept, helped along by viral communication techniques, calls for a task to be outsourced to the ‘crowd’ rather than have it done in-house. Crowdsourcing works on a couple of levels – firstly, the company gets exposed to a more diverse range of ideas, the winning design can be turned into a great PR story and in many cases, it is a lot cheaper than getting a traditional agency to come up with the ideas.

Crowdsourcing works best for creative endeavours, things like product development (coming up with new flavours of crisps), or advertising ideas. The design of a trophy would seem to lend itself to crowdsourcing, but instead, The Volvo Ocean Race has launched a formal tender process for the design of the trophy that will be held aloft by the winning crew of the 2011-12 event.

A formal tender process seems to reward those who can write a document, more than a creative soul who can capture the essence of the Volvo Ocean Race in a bit of metal or glass. Nevertheless, the race organisation invites applications from designers and agencies to come up with a creation that encompasses the spirit and heritage of one of the world’s most gruelling sporting contests.

The development of a trophy for such an event requires those involved to study the history and values of the race. It requires people to think more deeply about the race than the amount paid to the organisers for stopovers or which brand is painted down the side of the boat. Such a process is an opportunity for a new audience to get to know the race and through such a process, hopefully become fans.

Naturally there is a reward for the designer of the trophy,  it will be awarded to the overall winner of the 2011-12 race, and it will make its own special around the world ‘trophy tour’. Its final resting place will be in the museum at Race Headquarters in Alicante Spain, where it will be on permanent display.

A formal tendering process for stopover ports makes sense, but such a rigid mechanism for the design of the trophy seems to be a missed opportunity.

The invitation to creative spirits to design a remarkable, memorable, fitting symbol of the great race reads:

To find out more about the tendering process for this, and other trophies for the Volvo Ocean Race, please email your company profile to before midnight 11 June 2010.

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