polo park davenport fl a New Side of Polo as Sponsor
The relationship between the Polo Ralph Lauren Company and the actual sport of polo has been complicated at best: over the last decade, Ralph Lauren has sued the United States Polo Association for trademark violations on several occasions, contesting the association’s right to use both the word “polo” and images of polo players astride horses. And the association has sued back, asserting that the clothing company was ruining its merchandising efforts.
This summer, the sport and the company were in rare alignment, at least in one sense: for the first time since it trademarked “Polo” in 1967, Ralph Lauren sponsored a polo team in the United States.
“It’s the sport of kings,” said David Lauren, a marketing and communications executive for Polo Ralph Lauren and a son of Ralph Lauren. When founding the company with a line of neckties 40 years ago, “I think my dad flirted with calling it ‘Baseball’ or ‘Football,’ but he landed on ‘Polo.’ ” Mr. Lauren said. “Polo the sport has an international sensibility, and it’s glamorous.”
The company, meanwhile, is saddling up for higher profile events. For the third consecutive year, it is sponsoring the United States Open in Flushing Meadows, Queens, which began last week; for the last two years, the company also has sponsored Wimbledon.
At last year’s United States Open, the company’s 2,500 foot retail store on the stadium grounds had more transactions than any of its other nearly 300 retail stores, though a spokesman declined to give actual sales figures.
“There were lines out the door,” David Lauren said. But it was not just the clothes that were in demand: A shopping bag with a prominent logo used only at the United States Open were so popular that people ended up selling them on eBay for as much as $20, he said.