International adventurer Tim Cope visited Wollongong this week to become a global brand ambassador for an Illawarra IT firm.
The author, filmmaker and explorer signed up as an ambassador for Internetrix after it spent 12 years helping him stay in touch from some of the most remote parts of the world.
Internetrix managing director Daniel Rowan and Mr Cope met as 18-year-olds in England while on an exchange program.
But 12 years ago they started a partnership that helped Mr Cope on such adventures as riding a bicycle across Russia to China and rowing a boat through Siberia to the Arctic Ocean.
Mr Cope said the Internetrix team from Wollongong had enabled thousands of people to follow his progress daily on his most epic journey, a 3½-year horse trek across the Eurasian Steppe from Mongolia to Hungary following the trail of Genghis Khan.
"We are not just sponsors any more," Mr Rowan said.
"For the last 12 years, we have been a digital sponsor, helped him with his website ... his social media and everything digital. "Now, as we pursue export markets in China and as our customer base expands up and down the eastern seaboard ... and as Tim has gone global ... we thought it was time to solidify that relationship and make him a global brand ambassador. It just means we are working together for both of our benefits."
Mr Cope said Internetrix had been a fantastic help, often in the most difficult of circumstances.
"It has been a true partnership where all the way along Dan has come to help just as it has been required," he said. "Often, that has been at pretty inconvenient times, such as helping me put a post up in the middle of the night from the steppe in Kazakhstan.
"It has really worked for us together and I have just been rapt to be able to work with Daniel."
Mr Cope's next big adventure will be retracing the migratory route of the Romani people from India to Europe.