PARTNERS TO THE POLE
Who: Commvault and the 2041 foundation
Objective: When arctic explorer and founder of the 2041 foundation Robert Swan met chief communications officer at Commvault, Bill Wohl, backstage at the latter’s sales conference rehearsal, Antarctica was not yet even a faraway dream for publicly traded data backup and security provider Commvault. But, with Swan set to begin a 600-mile trek on foot from Union Glacier, Antarctica to the South Pole, Wohl knew Commvault could play a role. The pair agreed on Commvault’s involvement as the official data partner of the organisation and of the pole expedition. Then, Swan invited Commvault CMO Chris Powell to join the challenge at the 89th parallel and walk the final 60 miles to the South Pole.
Strategy: For Commvault, it began as a marketing and awareness activity, but the partnership soon transformed into an all-encompassing CSR programme. In backing up the data from Swan’s previous expeditions and in the pole trek, Commvault was able to tell its story to stakeholders in a tangible and authentic way. But, the partnership also included educational outreach to secondary school students around the world – fulfilling objectives for 2041 and for Commvault – and a tie in with the launch of Commvault’s new marketing strategy, Commvault Go, which boasted the strapline, ‘Helping companies do remarkable things with data.’ The partnership even extended internally, allowing Commvault to engage its employees around Powell’s journey to the pole. A flag signed by employees was then flown at the pole; a source of pride for the company and its staff.
Rationale: “It gave us an opportunity to involve Commvault and tell a story about data protection that was unique and different. Here we are, protecting the valuable data and imagery and the records of one of humankind’s most amazing journeys,” Wohl says. “We could support Robert’s admirable mission to protect Antarctica and to help draw attention to the 2041 mission. We could use our platform as a global company to help Robert spread his message all around the world and in the process, get our customers, our partners and our stakeholder audiences engaged with this special opportunity. It was all right there in front of us and it made the decision to make a fairly significant investment in time, money and Chris’ personal commitment the right one to make.”