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Robin Hood - Ambassador for business

Although it would be hard to imagine Robin Hood swapping his traditional Lincoln Green tunic and feathered hat for a pin-stripe suit and a bowler – it's a well-documented fact that, to a greater and lesser extent, the legendary outlaw has played a significant role in thousands of business deals and marketing campaigns all around the world - and he continues to do so.

Hundreds of classic examples were identified as part of an extensive random research project carried out in 2012 that was undertaken to look at the global impact and adoption of the Robin Hood "brand" in business and commercial circles.

Ranging from high profile corporate promotions such as USA supermarket giant Wal-Mart's coast-to -coast advertising campaign (featuring their "happy face" logo wearing a Robin Hood hat and "shooting down prices") - to local, small-business female entrepreneur, Dolly Sewell's Robin Hood Greeting Cards venture that took her all over the States. From Canada's Robin Hood Flour Company to Finland's Radio Robin Hood, the global list of practical and successful applications of the Robin Hood "brand" just goes on and on!

It embraces familiar names from Nottingham's past, such as John Player's cigarettes, Home Ales and Raleigh Cycles - alongside more current examples like the Nottingham Building Society, Robin Hood Harley Davidson, Castle Rock brewery and Doncaster's Robin Hood Airport.

A particularly striking element of the research findings is the sheer diversity and creative ingenuity of many of the applications, all recognising the positive, feel-good, credibility factor that the world-renowned Robin Hood name generates with the global public - instantly creating a rapport with potential customers.

No doubt every City and County resident will have experienced being away on holiday and, having mentioned whereabouts they are from, received the familiar response "Ah - Robin Hood!" It's an "ice-breaker" that opens a topic of conversation and represents one of the most significant and important ways in which Nottingham's Robin Hood connections have often triggered a potential business opportunity. It gives Nottingham "the edge" ; a chance to "get a foot in the door", providing a springboard from which the wider business issues can be discussed and developed. There are numerous examples of how this initial breakthrough has contributed towards a successful conclusion, including the creation of the UK's first Showcase multiplex cinema; the former re-location of Central Television Studios and the N.A.A.F.I. and the HM Revenue and Customs offices at Castle Wharf.

Above everything else, the 2012 research project clearly showed that City and County are barely scratching the surface of the marketing potential of the Robin Hood "brand" and far more businesses need to "step up to the plate" and show some creative vision. At the moment, it's a bit like having the whole of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at your disposal and only playing "Chopsticks"!