RIGHT ON TIME — Hublot has become the official timekeeper for the Dallas Cowboys and created three limited-edition luxury watches branded with the NFL’s most valuable franchise.
The unusual partnership reflects the success of Hublot’s soccer sponsorships and its goal to elevate the brand in Texas and the U.S., noted Ricardo Guadalupe, chief executive officer of the company, which is owned by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
“We were the first luxury brand to enter the soccer world in 2008 when we were the official timekeeper of the Euro cup in Switzerland,” he said. “It has been incredibly huge for us in terms of brand awareness in Europe but also in Asia.”
“The Cowboys are into trying to associate with the very finest in terms of other areas of disciplines,” said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Jones’ wife Gene and daughter Charlotte Jones Anderson, Cowboys executive vice president and chief brand officer, collaborated closely with Hublot on the designs, insisting on subtle references to the team’s iconic star and colors.
“We wanted it to be something that people would wear not only to a football game but just enjoy as a piece of jewelry,” Gene Jones said.
The oversize “King Power” black ceramic watch, “Fusion” titanium skeleton style and women’s diamond-bezel “Fusion” timepiece all sport black alligator over rubber bands and a small diamond star at the 5 spot on the dial, a reference to the team’s five Super Bowl wins. Priced similarly to Hublot’s line, which averages $20,000, each is offered in a numbered edition of 50.
Hublot also named coach Jason Garrett and players Jason Witten, DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith as brand ambassadors. Hublot is erecting a pop-up boutique there during games, and its watch-style clocks and collateral will be seen in suites and VIP parking but not on television, Guadalupe explained.
The company has sponsored and produced watches for the NBA Lakers and Miami Heat but doesn’t plan to court additional NFL teams.
“Our marketing idea is to explore different worlds in the future, not only sports but music, art,” Guadalupe said.
Hublot produces 40,000 watches a year, placing annual sales around $800 million, though Guadalupe declined to reveal figures. Revenue is growing at 10 percent a year, he said.
The Swiss company will continue its American outreach with December boutique openings on Union Square in San Francisco and in Miami’s Design District in December, bringing its U.S. store count to 12. Guadalupe is also considering putting units in Aspen, Colo. and Chicago plus a second door in New York by 2017.