In 1979, after seven years of preparation - The Transglobe endeavour, led by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, set out from Greenwich. Lots of people had gone around the world, but all horizontally - but none thought it even possible to do it vertically (ie: crossing the Arctic and Antarctic in the process).
Ranulph Fiennes and a team of volunteers committed 7 years of their lives to the expedition - sourcing all the equipment and provisions required with the aid of over 600 sponsors providing all the goods required for such a trip, including:
- Over $1,000,000 of Oil
- Twin Otter aircraft + pilot, including retractable Skis and a full set of spare parts
- Icebreaker Ship + crew
- 100 tonnes of mixed dry food stuffs
- £420,00 worth of salaries for crew, outside the team formed of volunteers.
- A TV+Stills production crew to accompany and document the whole expedition.
All free of charge. In exchange for their products, sponsors would typically receive gratitude in the form of colour photographs of their goods in use on the expedition aswell as bimonthly reports on the equipment concerned.
HRH Prince Charles called the endeavour "mad but marvellous".
So next time I'm told by a client "We're going to need to trim these costs" - I will naturally look into the abyss, smile, think of the great Transglobe expedition, and proceed in sending emails to all my suppliers starting "Dear Sir/Madam. I would be very grateful if...".