Simon Hawkins is Hurlingham Polo 1875’s guiding partner, and the mind behind the planning of the international brand's growth. “The Hurlingham Polo Association approached me in 2013 and I was immediately attracted by its fantastic British and international heritage, its history and authenticity. I thought that consumers would appreciate this and it could be translated into products in the lifestyle sector with an association that would give us a voice both on and off the field of play”.
-How did you and the HPA get together and how did the partnership develop?
"HPA approached me and asked if I would look into the brand and advise them on how best to bring it to market via a consumer goods strategy, but in a controlled way, maintaining the integrity on the field and off it. As we say: ‘Authentically British. Absolutely International.’ It combines heritage, quality and style with an immense commercial opportunity on a global scale, setting the Hurlingham Polo brand apart."
-So what is it about polo that you think makes it so special?
"Well, it’s clearly aspirational, but also, after 30 plus years in the sporting arena, I can think of few sports, that fire the imagination like polo does. It’s not only one of the oldest, but one of the most demanding and skillfull games in the world and one of a very few sports that can be played on an equal footing by both men and women."
"Hurlingham Polo stands for authenticity"
-All brands are built on values. What are Hurligham Polo 1875’s?
"We’ve put a lot of thought into this. The HPA brand is built on our heritage and the values of our association and our sport. It is our intention that all products and communications carrying our brand live up to our brand values, which are both the truths and aspirations of our business: authenticity, integrity, quality, unity and style. If you had to choose a single word to sum up what Hurlingham Polo stands for, it would have to be ‘authenticity’ and that’s very significant for contemporary consumers."
-So what kind of products will Hurlingham Polo 1875 be offering and what special attributes will demand people’s attention?
"First, we’ll support and be true to the sport of polo by offering performance products and accessories to be worn on the field. This includes team kits for all the England polo teams. Additionally, we’ll be offering an active collection delivering performance, comfort and function and a premium, ‘Made in Britain’ collection, as well as developing lifestyle products positioned as ‘affordable luxury’, sourced internationally - underlining our ‘Authentically British. Absolutely International.’ stance. All our products will be beautifully made and packaged, and offered online and via selected retail partners."
"The brand will help HPA to invest in the future"
-Are you aiming to make Hurlingham Polo 1875 a truly global brand and if so, how will you achieve it?
"We want our brand to be as well known, respected and lasting as the Association, and yes, we are looking to develop Hurlingham Polo 1875 around the world. We’re starting in the UK, establishing the brand, and ensuring that its products, tone and communications set the standards we require, and we’ll continue to build the brand carefully as we look to expand."
-So in five years’ time, how would you like Hurlingham Polo 1875 to be known and how would you like people to feel about it?
"We want the brand to have a long and successful life, and in five years’ time, we’ll expect to see it in some of the best retail stores in the world."
-What will Hurlingham Polo 1875 do for the game of polo?
"It will help the Association to continue to invest in the future of our sport whilst at the same time introduce the beauty of polo to a much wider audience and allow everyone to share in the skill, entertainment and thrill of the game."