Irwin Tools & Cyclone Yasi Survivors

In February 2011, Cyclone Yasi hit the Far-North Queensland Coast. The small town of Cardwell was almost completely destroyed. IRWIN Tools, recognising that the town no longer had the infrastructure to do the rebuild without help, made the decision to lend a hand.

In association with BAM Media, IRWIN Tools donated $4000 of hand tools to Cardwell to help get the town back on track.

In addition, IRWIN Tools – partnering with BAM Media, V8 Supercars and the Queensland Government organised for 100 primary school children and their parents to attend the Sucrogen Townsville 400.

The activity positioned IRWIN Tools as a community focussed business that is keen to help those that are doing it tough.

Immediately following the cyclone, IRWIN Tools donated to the cleanup and recognising that a re-build would not happen overnight, the additional donation of tools to Cardwell and the day at the races further reinforced IRWIN Tools as an organisation that gets in and lends a hand when needed at a grassroots level – something that has been a hallmark of IRWIN Tools since its founding over a century ago.

Students and parents from the Cardwell State School and the Kennedy State School were met by IRWIN Racing’s Alex Davison and Managing Director, Nick Pritchard. BAM Tours arranged for Davison and Pritchard to be helicoptered to Cardwell and taken on a tour of the town – which less than three weeks prior had been inaccessible. Later that morning, Davison was practising his V8 Supercar in Townsville (165km away).

The visit culminated in IRWIN Tools presenting $4000 worth of tools to Cassowary Coast Mayor, Cr. Bill Shannon to assist the town in its recovery from the devastating cyclone. Cr. Shannon said at the time:

“We really do appreciate this sort of generosity as there are many people and groups in Cardwell that have lost all sorts of equipment and property,” he said.

“It’s hard to think of a more appropriate donation in a place like Cardwell, which was hit so hard by Yasi, than hand tools.”

BAM Tours arranged bus transport for students and parents from the local schools to the Sucrogen Townsville 400 precinct. Whilst there, they enjoyed a day of corporate hospitality, they were able to watch all the V8 Supercars action from one of the best locations at the track and had face-to-face time with IRWIN Racing driver Alex Davison.

BAM Media collaborated with V8 Supercars, Stone Brothers Racing, the Queensland Government, Cassowary Coast Council, Cardwell State School and fellow V8 Supercar sponsor Orrcon Steel, to provide the experience.

In conjunction with IRWIN Tools, BAM Media presented each member of the tour with a backpack containing product from IRWIN Tools and other V8 Supercar sponsors, as well as T-Shirts and lanyards.

The guests were hosted in Orrcon Steel’s corporate suite, were taken on pit tours of the Stone Brothers Racing/IRWIN Racing pit garage and were met by officials from V8 Supercars and Queensland Sport Minister, Phil Reeves.

The project perfectly illustrates how all elements of the BAM Group can be leveraged against one another:

-BAM Media took the central lead, co-ordinating logistics, Government Relations and media facing elements of the project
-BAM Vision developed and distributed a Video News Release combining the Cardwell visit and Sucrogen Townsville 400 visit
-BAM Tours co-ordinated travel to and from Cardwell for the hosted guests
-Speedcafe provided journalistic space to cover the event and Alex Davison’s involvement extensively

The program resulted in a full front page and a major news story within the Townsville Bulletin, the Video News Release generated national television news coverage. National coverage was obtained in motor racing and trade press.
This activity cemented IRWIN Tools’ reputation as a community-focused brand in North Queensland.

“Through many initiatives in its century-plus existence, IRWIN Tools has prided itself on supporting those that are responsible for building the nations it operates in,” said Nick Pritchard, Managing Director, IRWIN Tools Australasia. “The creative program BAM Group developed for the Cyclone Yasi struck town of Cardwell allowed IRWIN Tools to engage at a grassroots level with an embattled community, whilst also being able to derive a benefit for our brand.

“The reason IRWIN Tools is engaged with the BAM Group at all levels is exactly this: Each element – BAM Media, BAM Vision, BAM Tours and Speedcafe – leverages against one another to produce results that are consistently above expectation for its clients. The Cardwell project is the perfect embodiment of that philosophy.”