Fourth polo event aims to bring bigger crowds, up ante for Valley










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Sep 22, 2014, 9:37pm MST UPDATED: Sep 23, 2014, 7:19am MST

Mike Sunnucks Senior Reporter-Phoenix Business Journal


Publicist Jason Rose’s fourth incarnation of the Scottsdale Polo Championships has new naming rights sponsor, projects record attendance and is part of the region hosting the U.S. Polo Association’s annual meetings.

Rose hopes the event will put Scottsdale in the same vein of the affluent sport as Palm Beach, Florida, and Santa Barbara, California.

Bentley Scottsdale takes the reins as title sponsor of the two-day event at Scottsdale’s WestWorld Oct. 25 and 26.

The event coincides with the U.S. Polo Association’s annual meetings at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale.

“Our members wanted to see firsthand how the event has managed to grow and evolve to become a unique polo event,” USPAgoverning board member Dan Colemansaid in a prepared statement.

Rose is projecting attendance of 15,000 for the weekend events. That is up from 12,400 attendees last year and 2,300 at the first one in 2011.

The polo event is also in the last year of receiving funding from the city of Scottsdale. The city has a special event fund that allocates $75,000 annually to new events for three years.

Rose is stressing a diversity theme this year with the top U.S. men’s player Julio Arellano, top U.S. women’s player Sunny Hale, and players from the United Kingdom.

The event is also partnering with the Gay Polo League. Rose said the diversity theme is in part to address the controversy the state went through with the Senate Bill 1062. Critics, including in the business community, opposed the bill, arguing it was anti-gay.

“We’re bringing in the Gay Polo League for the first time,” said Rose, who has taken on controversial clients and causes in the past, including Republican candidates and causes.

Larsen Art Gallery will hold an art auction and Applewood Pet Resorts will host a dog fashion show, Rose said.

Other sponsors of the event include Heineken, the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty and Copper Point Insurance.

Mike Sunnucks writes about residential and commercial real estate, government, law, sports business and workplace issues.

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