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FEI Addresses Commercial Progress at Annual Meeting

One of the reports that will be presented to the international Equestrian Federation (FEI) Bureau and General Assembly, April 15-16, 2007, in Portugal is the achievements of the FEI Commercial Division.

The FEI Commercial Division was established at the end of 2003 and is responsible for marketing, sponsoring and television matters. Its main objective is to provide the FEI with additional financial resources in order to better protect and further develop the sport.

Horse sport enjoys exceptional core values. It is one of the very few sports in which men and women compete side by side on truly equal terms up to the highest level. It is more than just a physical activity, it is even more than a sport; it is a social activity that engages the whole family, a lifestyle that calls for strong commitment and immense dedication. Horse sport’s unique feature – the teamwork between man and horse – encourages responsibility and respect.

Based on this rich tradition, the FEI Commercial Division has produced a long term commercial strategy organized along the following principles:

CENTRALISATION OF RIGHTS

The rights to the FEI top events – FEI World Cup™, Super League with FEI and the FEI World Equestrian Games – belong to the FEI, which means that even though the events are handled by local organizing committees, the FEI is an integral part of the selling process. This is a key element which makes possible long-term partnerships which was not the case in the past. The recent sponsorship successes bear witness to this fact. The leading animal health company Alltech became the first ever title sponsor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010. This new cooperation with the World Games Foundation Inc, the Organizing Committee of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 and the FEI provides for world-wide exposure for four years, which admittedly is far more valuable than a fortnight in a single country as was the case for the previous Games partners. The partnership with the renowned Swiss watchmaker Rolex for the FEI World Cup™ Jumping and Dressage Finals in Las Vegas followed by the title sponsorship of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Western European League, is another valuable step in the right direction. Rolex have supported equestrian sport since 1957 and yet it is the first time in 50 years that a partnership with the FEI materializes. Rolex trusts the FEI and promotes their relationship, which results not only in a substantial financial benefit but also, and perhaps more importantly, in improved visibility and image. The FEI headquarters are working on ways to increase value of FEI products and, thereby, add value for all stakeholders.

BRANDING

The FEI is in the process of becoming a recognized brand. This is an in-depth process that goes beyond the change of logo. It is a change in philosophy, values and working methods. Transforming the FEI into a brand is only the first step in a lengthy development. Branding horse sport is just as important as branding the FEI itself and the widening use of the "FEI at the Heart of Horsesport" strapline demonstrates the will to proceed in that direction. A second phase will be to further develop and better define competition brands, which will in turn be followed by a global communication campaign aimed at the knowledge about the FEI and horse sport beyond the equestrian fans to the general public.

NICHE PLAYER ATTITUDE

The fact that there is no gender testing in horse sport, the contact with nature and the importance given to the welfare of the horse are valuable qualities that should be given prominence.

ACTIVATION OF THE EXISTING NETWORK

Horse sport enjoys an incomparable network encompassing all social strata, cultures and nationalities. It ranges over many crafts, professions and occupations. and the skilful activation of the network, which is a wealth of knowledge and connections, can provide for many opportunities.

The leadership of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein is bringing the FEI and the whole of horse sport to another level of professionalism and excellence. The President’s Manifesto provides for a new structure which allows the FEI to improve and manage more effectively its properties. Thanks to all these factors, the general attitude towards the FEI is changing and the organization gradually stands out as a partner of quality for such prestigious companies as Rolex and Samsung.

Courtesy: The HorseTV Channel News, http://www.horsetv.com

 

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