Equestrian sports, the ideal luxury lifestyle association for major luxury brands

Following this summer’s Bridgehampton Polo Cup, CPP-LUXURY.COM has spoken to executives of sponsor and partner luxury brands, to better understand the potential of equestrian competitions, especially polo, for creating a natural luxury lifestyle association for the luxury brands.

Per Millie Becker, Co-Founder of Gotham Jets

What are the benefits you are seeking with your association with polo?

Do they not call it the “sport of kings”? A luxury company, such as Gotham Jets, is most perfectly associated with the sport of kings. The luxuries of the private jet with the elegance of the sport of polo are perfectly intertwined. They become one. How does the handsome, elegant, sportsman get to his match?  Undoubtedly by jet.  The polo player steps off one magnificent instrument to board another magnificent instrument. From such an association, Gotham Jets will be immediately thought of as the only way to get to a polo match by luxury jet. We see the sport as presenting us with an incredible brand opportunity.

Gotham Jet G550

To what extent polo is more luxury lifestyle related than other sports?

Polo is where the elite assemble – royalty, diplomats, socialites, the rich and famous. Polo is a showcase of where the wealthy and powerful gather to watch and socialize in the exciting, invigorating and masterful sport that is the ultimate in elegance and power. There is no other sport where you can watch the impeccably tanned and handsome polo players on their majestic horses and mingle amongst the upper echelon of the business world. The sport of polo gives you an incredible platform and introduces you to an invaluable network of individuals. Polo has been synonymous with royalty. There has been resurgence in the sport of polo with corporate sponsors and billionaire patrons.

How do you choose which club or tournament you sponsor?

We look at the reputation the club and that of the tournaments. The echelon level of the patrons whom attend these clubs/tournaments is of utmost importance. We look at logistically which location would be most beneficial to us.  What is the cause they are representing so that our name is aligned with a charity that differentiates us from our competitors who do not support charities

You recently partnered with Bridgehampton Polo. Why the Hamptons?

The Hamptons is synonymous with the rich and richer, so why not the Hamptons? There are no signs of the financial crisis there. You have only to picture a Ralph Lauren ad and the first image that comes to mind is Nacho Figueras playing in the polo fields of the Hamptons.

What is the most efficient communications channel to create awareness for your partnership with such events?

Having the company’s name aligned with the cause on the charity’s website and our name on the invitations is a fantastic way to garner positive attention. The media naming Gotham Jets as the sponsor so that every press release mentions our name as a supporter is also really effective. For the marketing company to publicize on their websites and through word of mouth to attest to our expertise, uniqueness and integrity.

Burgess activation at Bridgehampton Polo Tournament 2013

Alev Karagulle, Director of Marketing & Communications, BURGESS Yachts

To what extent is polo more luxury lifestyle related than other sports?

Polo has one of the most upscale audiences in the sports world.  The average net worth of a polo fan is $4.68 million.  There’s a great deal of history and tradition tied to the sport, and that’s often passed from generation to generation.

How do you choose which club or tournament you sponsor?

This is the first year that we’ve sponsored polo, but we felt as though the opportunity afforded us a great deal of face time with clients to entertain them in a unique setting.  The small, intimate feeling of the invite-only VIP hospitality tent allowed us to expose the Burgess brand to the right group of people.

What benefits are you seeking with your association with polo?

In our niche market of superyachts, it’s important that Burgess connect with our customers and build relationships with them.  That means positioning ourselves in places where they will be, learning what pastimes they like to engage in, and the activities that they enjoy.  It’s about making our brand available to them in a natural setting.  Polo allows us to do just that.

How important is it that diverse sectors partner for such a polo event?

We are extremely active in our marketing, everything from sending out our sleek catalogs to strategic alliances with exclusive luxury brands, and choosing sponsorship opportunities where we can tap into these synergistic – not competing – relationships.

What is the most efficient communications channel to create awareness for your partnership with such events?

 Our greatest asset is referrals from existing clients.  There’s a great deal of respect between these high net individuals.  Who better to ask than your fellow world leaders sitting at the top?

with the support of Kelly Downey

Ferrari North America