Atlantic Container Line
Case Study Type: Event PR for Ship Christening by HRH Princess Anne
- Shipping company owned by the Italian Grimaldi Group.
- Headquartered in New Jersey USA with European HQ in Liverpool, UK.
- Offers five transatlantic sailings each week and is also the Grimaldi North America agent for services between North America and West Africa and between North America and the Mediterranean.
- One of the biggest shipping lines operating into the Port of Liverpool where it has operated since 1969.
- In 2015, ACL’s five new fourth generation (G4) vessels began replacing its existing fleet. The new ships are named the Atlantic Star, Atlantic Sea, Atlantic Sail, Atlantic Sun and Atlantic Sky.
The Brief: Autumn 2016
- Princess Royal HRH Princess Anne visited Liverpool for a VIP ship naming reception for ACL’s newly built container vessel the Atlantic Sea.
- Around 200 guests including the Shipping Minister John Hayes attended for daytime event followed by large evening firework display at Liverpool’s iconic Pier Head.
- Heralded a new era for ACL with five new Container/Roll‐on Roll‐off (CONRO) coming into service operating on ACL’s North America to Europe route.
- Christening coincided with opening of a new purpose built European head office for ACL in Liverpool with 170 staff – the first purpose-built shipping line headquarters to be built in Liverpool since 1920.
- Polaris tasked with securing media coverage and organising press call around the first Royal ship Christening on Mersey since 1960.
- Promote ACL’s commitment to, and investment in, Liverpool to be recognised in media coverage.
- Use platform to promote the new ships coming into service.
- Three months dedicated to project meeting with ACL’s managing director and marketing team as well as senior management at the cruise terminal.
- Ensured event was reported in the media a week beforehand so public had time to plan to attend Christening and fireworks display.
- Communicated key messages around company’s investment and commitment to the region.
- Issued operational note ahead of the event and organised for media to attend Christening and interview key players.
- A range of media attended reflecting the different audiences ACL wanted to reach. This included international media in BBC World TV, regional press in BBC Radio Merseyside, BBC North West TV, ITV Granada TV and the Liverpool Echo.
- International maritime trade press included Lloyds List, IHS, International Bulk Journal and Freight Business Journal also sent reporters.
- ITV Granada used the fireworks display as the final closing pictures of its evening bulletins.
- Coverage included two full page reports in the Liverpool Echo reflecting ACL’s commitment to the city.
- Further provided photography for the event and organised for a film crew to document the day for ACL.