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Talking Business: Broadband Revs Up Top Autos Site {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

Best of the Best founder Willian Hindmarch had the idea to promote supercars in major airports around the world after he saw its success in the Middle East. William Hindmarch's business is giving away luxury sports cars. 'It is the highlight of the job', he laughs. 'You ring them and you say, "Hi, you've just won a new Aston Martin." Nine times out of ten they hang up. But then they almost always call back within ten minutes just to be sure.'

Best of the Best founder Willian Hindmarch had the idea to promote supercars in major airports around the world after he saw its success in the Middle East. William Hindmarch's business is giving away luxury sports cars. 'It is the highlight of the job', he laughs. 'You ring them and you say, "Hi, you've just won a new Aston Martin." Nine times out of ten they hang up. But then they almost always call back within ten minutes just to be sure.'

The name of the firm is Best of the Best. If you've been through a major British airport in the past few years you'll have seen one of their stands. They're the ones in the departure lounges, surrounded by boys of all ages, ogling the very best from the automobile industry: Ferraris, Porsches, Astons, Mercedes.
The trick is, you can win one of these most desirable consumer items by buying a competition ticket from Best of the Best. The price for a chance to win a supercar - like an Aston - is £60. For a sports car such as the Porsche Boxter, the tickets are £20 and for a motorbike it's £15. Hindmarch launched his idea at Heathrow's Terminal 4 and after two years spread it to other airports in the UK. Best of the Best now has displays in 11 British airports and is expanding abroad.
Turning to broadband.
Ironically, the company which is at the sharp end of the motoring industry was slow off the mark moving into the information age.
'We launched our website three or four years ago, ' Hindmarch confesses. 'It was originally conceived as an information site, for customers to see the results of the competitions. I was initially quite sceptical about the Internet.'
But after receiving phone calls from punters wanting to know how they could get tickets, Hindmarch saw the potential of the Internet. He turned to BT to provide a reliable broadband service. 'From small beginnings it's grown to become a very important part of the business. There's a real sales pattern. On a cold, wet weekend, when people stay at home, our sales go up. If I wake up and it's raining, the consolation is that it will be a good online sales day for us.'
But the business advantage of being broadband-enabled don't stop here. Hindmarch ticks off the benefits: georgraphical spread, real-time sales data, even creating a sense of unity within a wide-spread company through staff bulletin boards.
Broadband also opened up the potential to expand abroad. 'It's made the business scalable,' Hindmarch explains. 'Without broadband, it wouldn't have been possible for us to open in Spain, for instance.'
You'll have seen them in the departure lounges; it's the stand with boys all ages drooling over the latest high performance supercars. Tickets cost £15 to £60 and the cars and bikes on offer are amongst the very latest, most desirable out there. Best of the Best prides itself on getting the cars onto their stand pretty much before you've had time to even read a review on them and had both the Lamborghini Gallardo and the Ferrari Challenge Stradale on their stands when there were only a handful of them in the country. The Aston Martin Vantage arrives next week.
William Hindmarch set up Best of the Best over five years ago, in June 2000, with a Porsche 911 at Heathrow Airport in Terminal Four, and it was won by a young American lady. Deveeda Shaheen. Hindmarch never gets bored of making that winning phone call, "it's the highlight of the job", he admits, "calling someone up and telling them they've just won a Ferrari F430: the reactions are fantastic. We have quite a few winners who quite simply don't believe me and think it's a joke. A few minutes later they call back the Head Office number to check, and it's only then that the penny drops." You can listen to the winners' reactions on their website, www.bestofthebest.co.uk, under Previous Winners.
"Our youngest winner was a 19 year old student from Dublin who won a BMW M3, but we've also had a winner of an Aston Martin DB7 GT who was a grandmother from Glasgow. So it takes all sorts". If you think Best of the Best winners have all the luck, then take solace in one unfortunate winner who, having just had his brand new, gleaming Lamborghini Gallardo delivered to his door, decided to show it off to his mate. He opened the driver's door so his mate could check out the interior, but moments later another car came along and took the door off. You don't have to decide which car you want to win when you buy your ticket; once you have won you get to choose. Currently amongst the supercars on offer are: Aston Martin DB9, Bentley Continental GT, BMW M5 (plus £40k cash), Ferrari F430, Robinson R22 Helicopter (plus 10 hour flying lessons), Lamborghini Gallardo and Porsche 977 S (plus £30k cash).
Best of the Best have now had over 115 winners, and with two competitions closing in December and one in January, now's your chance to bag your ticket. Go to www.bestofthebest.co.uk or visit their stand in the airport if you're travelling. Gift vouchers are also available.
Best of the Best are giving away five free tickets worth £60 each. For your chance at winning a free ticket, send an email saying, in no more than 100 words, what it is that you like about Best of the Best website. Email your answer to info@bestofthebest.co.uk, putting 'I love Best of the Best website because' as the subject heading

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