Polo Players Edition

NOV 2018

Polo Players' Edition is the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association. Dedicated to the sport of polo, it features player profiles, game strategy, horse care, playing tips, polo club news and tournament results.

Issue link: https://polo.epubxp.com/i/1041752

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POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 9 history, and much more. The USPA has produced several club commercials in 2018 and have a couple more slated for the end of the year. There is a benefit program for clubs with the USPA matching up to $6,000 to produce a one minute or three-minute club video. In addition to club videos, the USPA has pro- duced two "Learn to Play" commercials, a short film on the National Intercollegiate Championships to highlight the intercolle- giate program and a Polo 101 video to be released in October. The Communications Department saw room for improvement in the club map, which helps members and fans of the sport find active member clubs. The for- mer map was limited, and the improved map offers three search options: all mem- ber clubs, interscholastic clubs and inter- collegiate clubs. In order to leverage thousands of daily website visitors to learn more about USPA member clubs, the Communications Department created individual club pro- files. Club profiles provide an equal opportunity for clubs to showcase what th ey have to offer, while at the same time branding clubs with best practices in mind. Users can easily navigate from the "Learn to Play" page, tournament calen- dar and club landing page on uspolo.org. Similarly, the Communications Depart- ment is always searching for new and innovative ways to connect with untapped demographics. Social media influencers, primarily on Instagram, are increasingly more prevalent in online marketing as a large-scale version of peer recommenda- tions and a more organic way to reach a new following. The USPA partnered with Jennifer Sims (@StyledEquestrian), an equestrian fashion blogger and hunter-jumper now learning to play polo, for the Pacific Coast Open at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. A truly authentic relationship, with over 45,000 followers, she has a strong voice as a mother, a wife and a former model for 10 years. The feedback and influence she received has been exponen- tial. The combined Instagram reach between Jennifer and the USPA was over 65,000, plus one of her giveaway winners was an eventer that also had a following of 30,000, which pushed the total audience to 95,000. The goal is to form a lasting relationship with Jennifer and continue to promote her polo journey. Marketing, LLC The documentary "The Perfect Match" is finished, and was screened on Thursday, Sept. 20. The response from the audience of board members, members, staff and committees was very positive and exciting for the future of the documentary. The Marketing, LLC and USPA Global Licens- ing are exploring different options for sale and distribution of the film. Polo Development, LLC Team USPA Team USPA members have had a suc- cessful year on and off the field. High- lights include Jared Zenni winning the U.S. Open Polo Championship, and three Team USPA members winning the Pacific Coast Open. In May, 11 new members were added to the program. Currently, the program is going through strategic planning discus- sions including: lowering the age require- ments for applications in order to allow younger players to join and establishing more training opportunities in Argentina. Team USPA members Jesse Bray, Remy Muller, Geronimo Obregon and Julia Smith will spend two months in Argentina this fall to play and train with Alfonso Pieres and his sons. Each will have a string of eight horses and play three times a week. The horses will be available if the members play in tourna- ments as well. Club and Membership Development The Polo Development Initiative award- ed $662,000 to polo clubs and schools in 2018 and the board approved the same funding amount for 2019. Dec. 31 is the deadline to apply for 2019 funding. A strategic planning committee has been formed that will investigate a num- ber of items including: tracking horse ownership as an evaluation metric; allow- ing for long-term capital improvements and multi-year awards; and increasing the maximum amount awarded to above the current $10,000. Intercollegiate/Interscholastic The I/I Program presented 10 new USPA Intercollegiate Scholarship Awards for the 2018-2019 academic year. These 10 join the existing award recipients from previous years, for a total of 23 stu- dent athletes awarded a USPA Scholar- Sheryl Sick, Denny Geiler, Steve Orthwein Jr., Maureen Brennan and David Ragland listen intently during the board of governors meetings. UNITED STATES POLO ASSOCIATION

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