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Babcock and Plymouth Argyle: a winning sponsorship project showcasing agility and community focus

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In the realm of project management, successful collaborations can produce remarkable outcomes. One such partnership that typifies this is the sponsorship agreement between Babcock International at Devonport Dockyard Plymouth and Championship Football club, Plymouth Argyle. This blog explores the short timeline, agile nature of the project, community focus and involvement of multiple stakeholders in the exciting venture of sponsoring Plymouth Argyle FC and their charitable partner Argyle Community trust. 

These engagements begin with a 2022 Christmas hamper delivery project where Babcock employees volunteered to deliver hampers in electric vehicles across the city. More recently, they have launched the “Be Kind” project where Babcock staff volunteered their paid time to the Argyle Community trust. The “Be Kind” project had an initial target of 500 hours this was quickly exceed with Babcock staff offering over 900 hours of time over the summer of 2023. 

The project itself continues to work against tight timelines with the physical assets of the partnership produced and approved within a break in the football season early 2023. The ability for a team to work within a timescale requires a clear vision and well-defined goals; the project team worked determinedly to ensure that various facets of the partnership were stood up and communicated externally. Interestingly, short life, agile projects are not what a large defence contractor dealing with multiyear programmes is known for and this proved to be a real learning experience for the small project team.  

Agility played a vital role in the success of this sponsorship project. The project team adopted an agile project management approach which allowed for adaptability and flexibility in the face of evolving requirements. This included creating digital content and assets in a sensitive environment for a marketing release and creating a full physical branding piece in the Devonport end of Home Park, which is the home of Plymouth Argyle, now known as the Babcock Devonport End. Regular communication, quick decision-making and continuous iteration were key elements that enabled the project to stay on track and respond promptly to changing circumstances. 

One of the remarkable aspects of the Babcock and Plymouth Argyle sponsorship is its strong community focus. Both organisations recognise the importance of giving back to the local community and creating a positive impact. Through this partnership, initiatives such as community outreach programmes, youth development initiatives and charitable events are being implemented. The project team have ensured that community engagement remains a top priority, fostering a sense of unity and support that extended beyond the football ground.   

A project of this size involves various stakeholders, each with their own interests and goals. The Babcock and Plymouth Argyle sponsorship project brings together stakeholders from both organisations, including executives, marketing teams, local authorities and community leaders. The fanbase, which is large in the dockyard community and totals thousands of workers, were kept informed internally and externally with press releases, podcasts and a visit of the league one champions trophy.  

The centrepiece of this partnership was the sponsorship and revitalisation of the new Babcock Devonport End of the stadium, a significant milestone in the project. The project team carefully planned the rebranding of this section, ensuring a seamless transition that reflects the shared values of both organisations. This includes signage, digital displays and fan engagement activities that enhanced the overall matchday experience at the Babcock Devonport End. 

The Babcock and Plymouth Argyle sponsorship project serves as an example of effective project management, highlighting the power of collaboration and agility, based on a community focus.  

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