By Alex Webbe
The parade of corporate sponsors that have found a gold mine in the demographic rich world of polo seems never-ending as the target market defined by the polo community continues to be a constantly growing pool from which to draw.
The names long associated with the sport include Cartier, Piaget, Rolex, Rolls-Royce, Land Rover and too many others to mention but the one thing that all of these industry giants have in common is the ability to recognize and identify their select audience.
Rolex was an early supporter of the game sponsoring not only tournaments, but a team as well. Piaget and Cartier moved onto the scene in the late 1970s as more and more corporations saw the financial windfalls that polo delivered. Veuve Clicquot and Maserati are more recent converts with the champagne maker sidling up with polo player and Ralph Lauren model, Nacho Figueras to present the Polo Classic on Liberty Island on the East Coast and the Will Rogers State Park in the Los Angeles area on the west coast.
Maserati sponsored the Miami Beach Polo World Cup in 2012 before stepping up to sponsor the country’s most prestigious tournament in the US Open at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.
“Similar to the sport of polo, Maserati represents passion, performance and sophistication,” said Andrea Soriani, director of marketing and communications for Maserati North America.
“[This] is just about the perfect sponsorship for a brand like Maserati, a high-end automobile brand that is not nearly as well-known as other high-end automobile brands such as Ferrari, Bentley and Rolls-Royce,” said Al Ries, founder and chairman of Ries & Ries, a Roswell, GA-based marketing strategy consultancy.
“The publicity generated by its polo sponsorship should help the sales of Maserati vehicles,” he said.
“The audience at polo events is rather small, but the publicity generated should reach a much larger audience.”
Maserati has been pleased with the success of their partnership with polo and the International Polo Club and are looking at establishing the kind of long-term relationship that Piaget has had with polo and the Florida club.
Piaget has been the title sponsor of the USPA Piaget Gold Cup, the second leg of American polo’s triple crown, since 2006. Over the years Piaget has been the field sponsor, a team sponsor and stages luncheons and special events at the Palm Beach County club.
“As the exclusive watch and jewelry sponsor, and the official timekeeper of the International Polo Club Palm Beach, we are beyond thrilled to be back for the Piaget Gold Cup,” said Larry Boland, president of Piaget North America. “It’s the perfect marriage of brand legacy and the international jet-set lifestyle.”
This year another polo sponsor will debut on the international scene in Cintron World, an international beverage company that offers a line of flavored energy drinks called, Cintron Premium Energy.
Testing the warm waters of the sport’s beach polo events, Cintron is looking to ride the polo wave into the global market that the events encompass. Cintron signed on with the International Beach Polo Association as its “official premium energy drink”, and will use this new partnership to forge new markets and solidify existing ones.
"Cintron World is excited to engage in this relationship with the International Beach Polo Association as the official energy drink sponsor. It is a wonderful opportunity to show the synergies between the polo lifestyle and the Cintron lifestyle,” said Chelsea Brehm, Director of Business Development & Marketing for Cintron World, Inc. “We both value class, quality and sophistication. While polo players like only the best and pursue quality, Cintron beverages are crafted from natural ingredients, real fruit, mineral water, and contains no artificial coloring or chemical preservatives," she added.
So the season proceeds with sponsors that become quickly identified with the sport of kings as their marketing departments make the best of this cherry-picked audience.
Photos- Larry Boland, President of Piaget North America presenting the Piaget Gold Cup to Valiente team captain Bob Jornayvaz.
Andrea Soriani of Maserati
Cintron World's Chelsea Brehm