Sowdens support Ron Dearing UTC students as they accelerate F1 ambitions

13th Apr

As Ron Dearing UTC students are preparing to go head-to-head with peers across the globe in the F1 in Schools competition, a leading Hull marketing company has offered its expertise to help them stand out.  

The competition requires teams to design, test, manufacture and race a scale F1 car, as well as produce engineering and marketing portfolios that must include information about creating industry links, raising funds through sponsorship and generating brand awareness through websites, events and social media 

With an agency-client relationship that was established when the UTC was launched in Hull, Sowdens offered its business knowledge, marketing expertise and support to mentor the group of four student teams, with  
art directors Chris Dimmack and Polly Sowden leading on the project.  

Through four engaging sessions, students learnt the importance of a brand and how it could help distinguish them amongst competitors, each team developed concept boards and learnt how a creative studio would approach the project.  

The teams this year are Vortex Racing, Delta Racing, Mach Racing and Team Overflow. Sowdens started the mentorship programme by meeting the teams and delivering a presentation on the power of branding.  

The teams then had a deadline to submit their designs and subsequently Sowdens fed back, worked together to create design sheets for the development of the logo style, and created a final brand design.  

As part of the task, students had to fundraise to pay for 100% of the competition independently – this included the materials to design prototypes, expenses at different rounds in various locations, accommodation and travel, and any other materials they may need.

With the help of, and hosted at, Porsche Centre Hull – teams held an impressive fundraising evening including pitch presentations, a silent auction and opportunities to test the prototypes on the track. With the evening to shape the success of the next round of the competition, the stakes were high and all teams showed incredible effort and commitment.  

The event put the teams in pole position, raising nearly £10,000 between them.

Polly, director of Sowden & Sowden, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, said: “The confidence and commitment of the students was really impressive. Eloquent, intelligent and knowledgeable, all teams upped the ante and gave a professional pitch performance – as a business that knows the pressure of a pitch situation, we were blown away by the teams.

“Their branding looked great on screen and it was a good opportunity for us to offer more advice and support on how to handle a ‘selling situation’. We’re looking forward to working with the teams as they progress through the competition.” 

Simon Edwards, teacher of engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “I’m so proud of all our students involved in the F1 in Schools challenge. The work they’ve produced so far is fantastic.

“We’d like to thank Porsche Centre Hull for their support and enabling our students to host such a great event in a fantastic space.  We’d also like to thank our employer partners and everyone who attended to help them achieve their fundraising goals.”

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