Helping to raise millions for the RNLI – student is part of team nominated for prestigious marketing award.

Posted on 15th February 2016

A Digital Marketing student from the University of Chester is among a team, nominated for a prestigious marketing award for producing a campaign that resulted in the largest ever donation to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). 

The Colton Collection Ferraris, which raised over £8million for the RNLI.
The Colton Collection Ferraris, which raised over £8million for the RNLI.

Michael Frost, a Digital Marketing Executive for specialist classic car auction company H&H Classics in Warrington, used skills gained on the MSc Digital Marketing course to work on ‘The Colton Collection’ campaign, which has been shortlisted in the Marketing Campaign of The Year SME category of the CIM Marketing Excellence Awards 2016.

The campaign centred around two multi-million pound Ferraris to be sold at auction, which were left in a generous legacy to the RNLI by the late Richard Colton – a Northamptonshire businessman and pre-eminent V12 Ferrari collector, who had a distinguished career in footwear distribution for 40 years.

The 1960 Ferrari 250GT Short-Wheelbase Berlinetta, and the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 had a combined estimated value of around £8 million when they went under the hammer in October 2015. Mr Colton requested that the money raised from the sale of the two Ferraris should be donated to the RNLI, to continue its lifesaving work around the coast of the UK and Ireland. He also asked for some of the money to be used to build a new state-of-the-art lifeboat for the RNLI, and for it to be named Richard and Caroline Colton, after himself and his late wife.

Ferraris Michael (pictured left), 28, from Wigan, and the team at H&H Classics worked relentlessly to promote the auction of the cars all over the world, to ensure that the legacy of Richard Colton was honoured. The cars were taken on a tour of the UK around some of the most prestigious classic car events of the year such as the Ferrari Owners Club Track-Day, Goodwood Revival and the Chateau Impney Hill Climb.

Sold without reserve at the Imperial War Museum, the sale of the two cars exceeded expectations, with the 1960 Ferrari 250 GT making £6.6 million and the 1967 model fetching £1,930,000, all of which was donated to the RNLI - its largest ever donation.

Through knowledge gained while studying for his part-time Master’s degree at the University’s Warrington Campus, Michael worked on the online promotion of the cars, creating social media campaigns and video documentation of their UK Tour, which ended at the Houses of Parliament. There, MPs were given a champagne reception and invited to be photographed with the cars, courtesy of the Right Hon Sir Greg Knight MP and the Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group. 

Michael said: “The lives the new boats will save and the difference the new boats will have are what makes this marketing campaign all the more special, but it was overwhelming to receive this recognition on top of it all for our efforts – and especially by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

“We entered into the competition believing that our marketing campaign was of national significance, having raised £8.53million for charity. If any campaign is worth entering into the competition it had to be this one and we were honoured to receive the nomination for the ‘Marketing Campaign Of The Year SME’. To be a part of something that’s been recognised by the CIM in this way within my first six months of employment, and the first six months of my MSc in Digital Marketing, is incredible. I am very proud to have been a part of a legacy that will help save lives in the future.”

The award winners will be announced on April 14, at a celebratory event in London.