The United States Polo Association, via its licensing arm and broadcaster — USPA Global Licensing — announced that U.S. Polo Assn. will return as the official apparel sponsor of the 2018 China Open Polo Tournament.
Partnering with Chinese licensing partner, Yicai Brands Management, the West Palm Beach, Florida-based U.S. Polo Assn. will provide official jerseys for players and uniforms for staff of the event.
The tournament will take place on Sunday, September 30, at the Tang Polo Club in Beijing and is recognised as one of the largest and most watched international polo tournaments in China. This year, four international polo teams will participate including Brunei, England, Malaysia and China.
“We are excited to be the official apparel sponsor for the prestigious China Open Polo Tournament,” said USPAGL President and CEO, J. Michael Prince.
“This will be another opportunity to build global brand awareness while also engaging consumers and sports fans in the sport and lifestyle of polo in one of the most important markets in the world.”
With a global footprint worth $1.6 billion in retail sales and a presence across 166 countries, China has become the American brand’s premier market for growth, as it eyes a $2 billion dollar global sales target.
In the next five years, U.S. Polo Assn. plans to have over 300 retail stores in China, representing one of the largest retail footprints for an international apparel brand in the Chinese marketplace. Earlier this year, the company also relocated its Chinese operations to the city of Changshu (nicknamed “Apparel City”) at the Changshu Brand Operations Centre, which specialises in product design, research & development, marketing, social media and e-commerce.
“With our amazing partner, Yicai, U.S. Polo Assn. is building a significant brand presence in China while also driving tremendous long-term growth,” added Prince.
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The Chinese agreement comes after the brand announced expansion plans for the UK and Ireland, as part of a new strategy under new creative director Craig Prest. Earlier this year, the brand also inked a sponsorship deal to dress the U.S. national team at the 2018 Westchester Cup in the UK.