(Originally published 04.27.10 on BizBash Miami/South Florida)
The sixth annual Miami Beach Polo Cup wrapped up last night after a day of women’s matches and three days of men’s matches that attracted nearly 2,500 people to the V.I.P. spectator tent as well as hundreds of nearby beachgoers. The 2010 tournament returned to the sands behind the Setai hotel on Miami Beach with a redesigned event footprint, a larger spectator tent for V.I.P.s, and more peripheral events and entertainment.
“The tournament keeps growing every year, and the press we got last year was phenomenal, so we’re getting a lot more attention from the polo community,” said Bruce Orosz, president of the Polo Life L.L.C. and local event company ACT Productions, the two organizations behind the event. “It’s really such a multifaceted and multitiered event that we’re now promoting it almost year-round with help from our sponsors.”
In past years the majority of the sponsor tents were located to the right of the main entrance. However, in an effort to increase the foot traffic to those areas, ACT created a 2,000-square-foot retail village with two rows of tents behind the main entrance. Panama Jack, yacht manufacturer Ferretti Group, and polo apparel company La Martina were among the seven companies exhibiting there.
ACT contracted EventStar to expand the length of its V.I.P. viewing tent by 30 feet and create three levels instead two, which allowed for more seating. Two rows of white folding chairs lined the first level, behind which ACT used low-lying partitions and black and brown sofas and ottomans from Taylor Creative Inc. to create viewing boxes for sponsors. Rectangular highboys and stools lined the front of the third tier, which also held two bars on either end from sponsors Grey Goose and Bombay Sapphire. Fogo de Chao and three China Grill Management restaurants served food daily on the top level of the tent.
The Polo Life secured 20 percent more sponsors than in 2009, including presenting sponsor AMG—the high-performance line from Mercedes-Benz. With the additional sponsors came more peripheral events and entertainment elements surrounding the daily polo matches. Among the new aspects was a late-night fashion show from Betsey Johnson during Thursday’s opening night party in the viewing tent, an invitation-only sunset cruise for 90 on Friday hosted by Ferretti Group, and multiple La Martina fashion shows throughout the day on Saturday.