Businesses urged to help get city centre soapbox race to the starting grid
A FUN-PACKED soapbox challenge race could be coming to Bradford this summer – if enough businesses get behind it.
Bradford Business Improvement District (BID) has agreed to back the Super Soapbox Challenge – expected to draw crowds of around 20,000 people – but it needs local businesses and organisations to help get if off the ground.
The event will take place in the city centre, on a route yet to be agreed, and will be staged by a company which has already achieved major success with similar events in places such as York and, recently, Barrow-in-Furness, in Cumbria, where Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards was among the competitors.
Andrew Pearson, events marketing director at the organisers, The Super Soapbox Challenge Company, said: “It will be a fantastic, free community event for Bradford which we predict will bring 20,000 people into the centre for a fun-packed, family day out.
“Our post-event research on similar soapbox race-days we’ve organised elsewhere suggests that between 20-25 per cent of attendees will travel from outside of the city so it’s a great way to showcase Bradford to new visitors too.
“Initial response from the business community has been very positive with three of the main sponsorship packages being reserved within a few days of the initial offer. We’re still seeking a principal sponsor at present.”
Individuals and teams taking part in the event will be able to use it to raise money for charity and schools and charities themselves will also be encouraged to enter. Businesses can enter corporate teams to build and race their carts as well as non-corporate groups.
Over and above trophies for the top racers, entrants can compete for awards such as “Most Innovative Cart Design”, “Best Turned-out Soapbox crew” and even “Joker of the Day!”
Bradford BID chairman Ian Ward said: “With Bradford bidding to become City of Culture 2025, the Super Soapbox Challenge is a project we would really like to make happen this year because of its huge potential to bring people together for a great day out.
“These soapbox events take place across many cities in the UK as well as Europe and they are increasingly popular. They’re also very good for shops and businesses, bringing in lots of families for a fun-packed experience and leaving a lasting feelgood impression on visitors from further afield.”
BID manager Jonny Noble added: “We have a great opportunity to make this happen for Bradford but delivering an event of this type will require partnership working and a number of sponsors to come forward before we can commit to it.
“Experience elsewhere suggests it will be great for the city centre and is likely to become an annual event if we can get the first one off the ground.”
A variety of sponsorship packages, costing from £500, are available and any business or organisation interested in supporting the event is asked to contact Andrew Pearson on 07885 944478 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Businesses can put their name to winners’ trophies and medals, the stage, the start ramp and finish barriers, course barriers, pit stop areas and more.