A new polo event is being launched this summer at Mount Maunganui.
Local organiser, John Guise and his partners were ready to launch the new ‘Polo in the Bay’ event in 2020 when COVID struck, so it has been a long wait for the kiwi who left for Australia in 2006.
“We’ve seen the rise of polo variations all over the world in recent years, but especially in Australia,” says John. “We really like the more understated, relaxed concepts that are proving really popular at coastal destinations like Mount Maunganui.”
The inaugural ‘Polo in the Bay’ event will be held on Saturday November 27 in Mount Maunganui and organisers say they aim to start a new tradition, not just a new annual event.
Local residents and businesses have been quick to register their interest and secure pre-sale tickets before they go live to the public in August.
“We announced the event online recently and have been blown away by the response actually – we already have hundreds of registrations for pre-sale tickets…we didn’t expect that so soon,” says John.
John likens the ‘Polo in the Bay’ concept to the popular ‘Portsea Polo’ near Melbourne and ‘Polo by the Sea’ concept on Sydney’s Northern beaches.
“These events celebrate their host destinations and are designed as tourism products that will draw visitors to the region,” says John.
“Polo in the Bay will do the same – it’s an event brand that is tailored to the Bay of Plenty, it’s not transferable to another region. Our venue, the outer-fields at Trustpower Baypark, provides us with a blank canvas to create a purpose-built polo arena.”
John says that over the past 15 years, his business Global 360 Group has delivered over 100 major events and partnered with some of Australia’s most well-known destinations, such as Noosa, the Gold Coast and Bondi Beach.
The timing of ‘Polo in the Bay’ will celebrate the start of summer in the Bay of Plenty and organisers are encouraging local residents to invite some mates to town who will ‘stay and play’ for a whole weekend.
“Eat + Drink + Play is our call to action for this event – it’s all about celebrating the start of summer and the festive season in the Bay of Plenty,” says John.
John now calls Tauranga home and his business aims to develop this event and others that will help drive visitors to the region outside of the busy summer months.
“This is the start of a new local business for us, so we’re really committed to making this event a local production – we’ll be employing local staff, engaging local suppliers and partnering with local businesses.”
Tickets to the inaugural event will be limited so local residents or businesses seeking corporate sites are encouraged to register for pre-sale tickets now and get their hands on them before the public launch in August.
The event will be announcing a number of key partners over the coming months, but is especially pleased about supporting local mental health programmes through their official charity, the Movember Foundation.
“Movember does amazing work for mental health here in NZ and around the world, so we’re really excited that we can play a small part through our event here in the Bay – we’ll do what we can to help raise funds and awareness for their campaign,” says John.
For more information visit www.polointhebay.co.nz or find them on social media at @PolointheBay