Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone is heading a novel fundraising campaign for the British America's Cup challenger

Following recent internal discussions and meetings with existing and prospective investors and partners, GBR Challenge has confirmed that Charles Dunstone is taking an active role in the team.  Charles is now assisting the team to secure the necessary additional funding and is one of the prime movers behind the team’s proposal to use GBR Challenge as a vehicle to promote a leading humanitarian charity.


This exciting and innovative move will enable GBR Challenge to combine a high value global sporting property with a social responsibility programme in a ground breaking manner. This reflects the ambition of the team, its investors and future partners to really make a difference – both by winning the America’s Cup and by delivering direct benefit to a humanitarian cause. As far as the team is aware, this will be one of the first times in a global professional sporting arena that a team has ‘donated’ outright, its title rights to a charitable cause.


The proposal is that the naming rights for the team would be donated to a global humanitarian charity selected by nominated Trustees through a professional tender process. The team is now offering commercial companies the opportunity to be a supporting partner in this unique and high profile campaign. Today global brands are continually looking at ways of integrating sponsorships and charitable programmes – partnering with GBR Challenge will be seen as a unique way of achieving this, while still gaining considerable value from the partnership benefits of branding visibility, hospitality packages and a unique platform for PR and marketing profile.


Charles Dunstone, Founder and CEO of Carphone Warehouse, Europe’s leading retailer of mobile phones commented: “We’ve only been working on this concept for a short time but the idea has been well received and has already changed people’s thinking. From a company perspective  it ticks a lot of boxes – corporate social responsibility, humanitarian work and brand awareness – in one package as well as using a high profile event such as the America’s Cup, to do something positive. I’m convinced the America’s Cup is going to be the hottest property in Europe even by 2006.”

Charles proposes to join forces with Peter Harrison, Founder of GBR Challenge to make this concept a success, attract the right commercial partners to the team and ensure that GBR Challenge can continue to move forward as a front-running team for the 2004-2007 America’s Cup campaign. Peter Harrison commented, “The team have been progressing forward positively since April 2003 through my commitment to continuity and investment. I am very pleased that Charles has agreed to support the team and join me in ensuring that this will be a winning campaign for all involved.”


The GBR Challenge team in Cowes is progressing forward with boat modifications to race boats GBR 70 and 78 to convert them to version 5 designs so that they are 100% ready to compete in the 2005 compulsory Acts.


The focused process of selecting Trustees, identifying potential partner charitable organisations and attracting commercial partners is now the prime objective of the team.