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U.S. Polo Assn. Ponies Up Spending, Polishes Image

The company has launched an updated marketing campaign that emphasizes the authenticity of the brand’s link to the game of polo.

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The U.S. Polo Assn. is getting a makeover.

The company has launched an updated marketing campaign that emphasizes the authenticity of the brand’s link to the game of polo. A new slogan, “Live Authentically” was created to speak to the DNA and history of the U.S. Polo Assn., the officially licensed brand of the United States Polo Association, governing body of the sport since 1890.

U.S. Polo Assn., which is licensed to USPA Properties, has lines targeted to women, men and children, as well as accessories, luggage, watches, shoes and home furnishings. It is licensed in 135 countries, including markets in North and South America, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Scandinavia and Russia. India and the Middle East are two of the largest markets, with 182 and 241 stores, respectively. There is a total of 563 U.S. Polo Assn. stores worldwide.

Revenue from sales of U.S. Polo Assn. merchandise is used to promote the sport of polo, including everything from underwriting educational and training programs to funding programs in umpiring, competition and equine welfare.

The new campaign is being rolled out this spring. Worn by polo players, the brand captures the spirit of the sport, inspired by its American heritage. Two shoots include vibrant images of young polo players in action-packed live sequences. The print ads were shot by Andy Anderson, with creative direction by Jackie Harrigan, vice president of marketing, global. TV ads will run on NBC during polo matches. In addition, 30-second spots were created for the company’s licensees to use around the globe this year. Ads will appear in print and online publications, as well as on billboards near store locations, such as Times Square.

Overall, the company’s advertising budget is up 45 percent from 2013 to 2014, according to a spokeswoman. Specifically, she said, print spending has increased 60 percent; TV is up 50 percent; outdoor has increased 30 percent, and the digital spend is up 40 percent.

A revamped U.S. Polo Assn. brand Web site is scheduled to launch in June, with competition game footage, special photo galleries and social media highlights. It will also feature a full schedule of polo events and venues.

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