The Orange Arrows team is working with Ufulfil.com, the e-logistics arm of Unipart, which designs and develops e-commerce Web sites and handles delivery logistics. Their brief is to improve communication between the Arrows and their fans around the world, enhance customer service, boost merchandise sales and reduce administration costs.
Steve Hood, head of marketing at Orange Arrows, said the team had chosen Ufulfil.com because it was part of an established company. He said he was reassured by the company's technological partnership with IBM.
Hood added that the Web site had already succeeded in raising the team's profile: "Unlike Ferrari who have got a huge following, mid-range teams like ourselves have a large number of fans spread geographically. Delivering catalogues and memorabilia was previously impossible because it was uneconomic. We are now reaching a much wider audience thanks to the Web. All the extra profits from the fans can be put back into the team," he said.
The Arrows racing team has taken part in Formula One races for more than 20 years and is now sponsored by mobile phone company Orange with an investment of £70m over three years.
Ufulfil was formed to apply Unipart's experience of distribution, fulfilment and supplier relationship management to e-commerce. The company has formed an alliance with IBM, and uses IBM's Websphere Commerce Suite as the backbone of its sites. Its other technology partners are network management software firm Manugistics and supply chain software company IndustriMatematik.