Step forward for HPA in harnessing legacy and history from 1875 to enter merchandising market.
The Hurlingham Polo Association has harnessed its history and standing within the sport with an ambitious bid to launch a re-branding from which the governing body for the UK, and 37 other countries, aims to generate a substantial revenue stream which will be used wholly for the development and continuance of the sport.
It has been the brainchild of Olly Hughes, deputy chief executive of the HPA. A new document outlines the re-branding and aims of the project.
“This has been about 18 months in the making. The first step was the complete rebranding of the HPA,” Hughes said.
“It’s reclaiming some of the ground that many others have done very successfully. The thing is, if we do it, 100 per cent of the revenue will go back into polo. It doesn’t get filtered out.”
“We have agreed our first licensee for greater China and south east Asia – a company called Pacific Licensing Studio. We’ve entered an agreement with them for five years. This is to do with lifestyle – our trademarks cover all the standard clothing and headwear, footwear and watches and all other merchandising.”
Under the license of the HPA, they will be manufacturing consumer products the HPA the ‘Authentically British. Absolutely International’ tagline.
“The bottom line is that we will generate revenue that will go purely to support polo.”
In many ways, this was a no-brainer. The HPA has history on its side. “With the heritage of the HPA, tracing back to 1875 when the rules were first written, we’ll now work on a global licensing programme, and our first licensee is for China and south east Asia.”
“The USPA do it very well and have generated an awful lot of money for the sport over there. Ralph Lauren did it very well using the image of polo. And, actually, we are the original and, in my opinion, the best. Why shouldn’t we do it? We have the genuine history and heritage. We don’t have to make it up.”
It could provide a revolutionary move for the HPA. “I think there is a great opportunity for the HPA to take its place among the world’s elite premium sporting brands,” explained Hughes.