USPA Global Licensing Inc. (USPAGL), the official licensing arm and national broadcaster of the United States Polo Association (USPA), announced the promotion of J. Michael Prince to CEO and the election of W. David Cummings as Chairman of the Board effective immediately. USPAGL manages the U.S. POLO ASSN. brand, the USPA’s $1.5 billion global sport-inspired apparel brand. Prince said, “I am honored and humbled by this amazing opportunity to work with a brand and sport that have unlimited potential. I want to thank David, our Board, the USPA, and all of our global partners for their support of me over the past year. We are very excited and optimistic about what the future holds.”
Prince was hired as COO of USPA Global Licensing in May 2017 as part of a long-term succession plan for Cummings who has served as President and CEO since 2004. Cummings will assume the role of Chairman and will continue to work with the USPAGL and USPA on strategic opportunities and collaborative measures intended to bring broader awareness to the sport and drive consumer desire for USPA official licensed product.
A veteran executive of iconic global lifestyle brands such as Cole Haan, Nike, Converse, and Guess, Prince believes that the U.S. POLO ASSN. brand’s authenticity to the sport of polo creates a unique opportunity in the global marketplace that appeals to today’s consumers, especially the younger Millennial and Gen Z generations. Prince noted, “The authenticity of U.S. POLO ASSN. sets it apart from all of its competitors as the only officially sanctioned brand for the sport of polo in the United States. The Huffington Post recently noted that ‘millennials want authentic messages, authentic brands and authentic interactions.’ Our brand delivers on all three of those experiences combined with a level of fashion and quality that appeals to today’s consumer.”
Prince, Cummings and the USPAGL senior leadership team have spent the past year working with their global partners to lay the foundation for a long-term strategic plan referred to as “Whitespace 2025.” This strategic plan envisions the brand exceeding $2B in global retail sales and expanding to over 1,300 monobrand retail stores worldwide. There will also be a major focus on transitioning into a digital and media content driven brand. This transition is part of an overall strategic move to more fully engage global consumers and sports fans through the brand’s “Live Authentically” platform. The brand’s authentic connection to the sport and lifestyle of polo will be reinforced through social media, digital, broadcasts, public relations and high-profile polo events.
The strategic plan also includes major expansion efforts in key international markets such as China, India and Turkey where the brand already has a significant presence, while also gaining market share domestically in the United States and more mature markets such as Europe and Latin America. Lastly, an expanded product offering that includes more active, technical, and functional options, as well as a larger assortment for women and kids, will drive greater consumer engagement with the brand.
Prince earned his undergraduate degree from East Central University and his MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he currently serves on the board. He is also a featured speaker at numerous universities and industry events discussing global brands, international business and entrepreneurship.
Cummings earned his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M. He is an apparel industry veteran with approximately 20 years’ experience as well as a long-time polo player. He has worked within the equine industry throughout his career including several management positions within the sport of polo.