Affectionately known as Quins or Harlequins, the Harlequins Football Club is an English Rugby Union team who play in the English Premiership. Founded in 1866, the Quins are one of the founding members of the Rugby Football Union and have called Twickenham Stoop home since 1906.
As a successful team, the Quins were crowned the winners of the European Challenge Cup in 2011, won the English Premiership in 2012 and the LV Cup in 2013.
What was the challenge?
With training camps and fixtures held around the country, group travel is a regular occurrence for the Harlequin players. In-season travel can be particularly frequent and at times, unpredictable.
During November 2015, the Quins were experiencing challenges managing their complex travel needs and recognised that they required the services of a specialist travel provider. It was then that Corporate Traveller Production, Sports and Creative began working with the Quins.
Travel is part of every rugby season, but it is towards the end of the season where last-minute group travel becomes more frequent. As fixtures change, both players and the management and support staff, need to cross the country at short notice. Beyond the transport, special accommodation requirements are par for the course with peak performance players requiring bespoke amenities within their rooms. Every player’s room needs to be large enough to accommodate in-room massages and dining to keep distractions at bay and players in peak physical condition.
The nature of sport means that its difficult to predict which stage of the tournament the Harlequins will qualify for, so the hotel rates need to be flexible with late cancellation options. Corporate Traveller Production, Sports and Creatives are well placed to manage these contracts and keep the Quins travel on track.
After winning the semi-finals of the ECPR Challenge, the Harlequins were set to face Montpellier for the final in Lyon.
It was up to Corporate Traveller Production, Sports and Creative to ensure that over 80 passengers were able to travel and be appropriately accommodated with just two weeks' notice. Lisa, the Harlequins’ dedicated Expert Travel Consultant, made sure that all the stops were pulled to give the players their best chance at glory.
Lisa sourced the best hotel options and negotiated directly with hotels to confirm better rates and flexibility for the team. She arranged for the team’s excess equipment to be transported without hassle. Finally, she worked alongside Corporate Traveller’s out-of-hours team to ensure they knew all the travel plans in case any additional assistance was needed.
"Lisa and the team at Corporate Traveller Production, Sports and Creative are real support for us at Harlequins. They are there every step of the way and understand the tight schedules, the inevitable last-minute nature of our travel and the challenge of travelling as a group.
Lisa comes back with great options and solutions and goes the extra mile for us! The team have changed the way I book travel for the better, positively challenging our buying patterns and having real experts on side has made a huge difference.”
Graeme Bowerbank, Head of Operations, Harlequins Football Club Ltd
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