Tag Archives: Camelot

How Camelot left nothing to chance.


Until the Olympics bid the highest profile pitch in the UK was that run by the Government Department  (OFLOT) for operating the National Lottery. Several mighty consortia entered the fray.  Rank, the UK  leader in games of chance; Rothshild, bringing financial credibility; Branson, the ‘people’s champion’ and Camelot which, then, included GTECH, world leading lottery experts.

The brief, three hundred pages of it, was formidable.  The winner would, in effect, be setting up an entirely new form of gambling to the UK.  This was expected to be (and was)  played by the majority of the population.  An excellent book by Ray Snoddy  gives chapter and verse but I am focussing on just  two winning aspects.

One.  Camelot left nothing to chance.

Led by Tim Holly , an expert in winning defence contracts for Racal, Camelot’s attention to detail and over delivery on every single aspect was astounding.  A few examples. Hundreds of recently retired Cadbury Scweppes ( consortium member) sales people personally vetted  thousands of potential retailers; three ad campaigns were created and fully researched; a single copy of the submission stacked 3 feet high  and, for their interview with OFLOT, Camelot directors held fifteen hours of  reheasal.

Two. Camelot understood that “fear of failure” motivated the decision.

Imagine you are the civil servant who  makes the award and the world’s biggest online lottery fails on first night, making your Prime Minister look foolish. Camelot, unlike their competitors who only promised success, played to this fear.

One example, that stands out, was the running of a recruitment campaign in newspapers after the tender had been submitted  but before the decision!  This was not an act of bravado.  It was a calculated signal to the decision takers. ‘ We are doing this to have people in place, in time, to guarantee there is no chance of failure’.

Pitchcoach comment: Camelot’s insight into the decision making mindset was key to their winning strategy and was one reason why the  popular Branson bid never troubled them.