Julius Baer Gold Cup – Dubai Polo Open Draw

All the team representatives with the Bentley in front of the St Regis Dubai Al Habtoor City. Photo credit Dorian Blond for DPGC

Monday, February 6th was one of the big days in my job, as social media and marketing executive at Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club. It was the press conference and live draw for our most important tournament, The Julius Baer Gold Cup 2017.

I have been to many press conferences before, in several different capacities, but this one was a new one for me. I have sat were the reporters were sitting, taking pictures and noting all the important information, not wanting to miss a thing. I have been on the spectator side, watching online via the live stream or social media to see how it all panned out and who would be playing against who. I have even been in the position of the Emirates girls, at several Golf press conference as part of my duty in the Business Promotion team when I was working as a stewardess for Emirates.

Photo credit Dorian Blond for DPGC

But this was a new position. For a few weeks prior, I had been working with the team in our office and the media and communications team in the Al Habtoor Group head office. So many details go in to a 45 min press conference and being part of such a big organization, means a lot of steps for everything and a lot of rules. One cannot just write something and put it out there for the world to see, without it being approved on various levels.

Firstly we always make sure all the sponsors are happy. Which means preparing all the branding artwork in advance and getting approval from each one of them, then having it all printed in the right scale and size and fitting the mount properly. We coordinated with Emirates to do the draw a little differently, where team names were drawn from a bowl and then the team representative chose a plane with the zone positions underneath (I personally think this was a great idea of ours and quite fun and interactive).

Photo credit Dorian Blond for DPGC

Photo credit Dorian Blond for DPGC

Then the  venue had to be organized. Originally we were hosting the press conference at the St Regis at Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club, but the ballroom we needed wasn’t quite fit for a press conference just yet, so a quick change before the invitations went out and we moved the event to the St Regis in Al Habtoor City, where invitees were welcomed with a light breakfast for socializing before we got down to business.

A very long list of invitations had to be sent out;  media, partners, sponsors, patrons, players, team managers and many more.

And then of course the press release had to be written and re-written and adjusted that last little bit at the end, making sure every important detail was included. I was also in charge of writing a draft of our Vice Chairman’s speech, which though it was re-edited, I still recognized some of the original sentences in there 😉

Welcome speeches from the sponsors and organisers, here Cesar Ruiz Guinazu, Polo Director for the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series is explaining about the format of the fixture.
Photo credit Dorian Blond for DPGC

On the big day, we arrived a few hours early, only to find out that all the things that were supposed to be finalized, were not! So we rolled up our sleeves and helped with the assembling of the press wall ourselves, I dug out my projector skills from the back of my memory and made it somehow work and we managed to get a back-up printer rushed in at the last minute. Ufff!

I had a quick meeting with our photographer explaining exactly which shots I wanted, whilst also juggling two phones making sure the draw was live streamed on both Instagram and Facebook (even though PoloCam was live streaming the entire thing).

Good thing I can multitask and those finger grip things on the back of my phone come in very handy, especially with the iPhone plus.
Photo credit Dorian Blond for DPGC

Lots of photo shoots here and there, which can be somewhat of a challenge with the polo players who often can be quite oblivious. I really need to coach these guys on how to pose for a group shot. How hard can it be to just look straight, not look bored and not scratch different body parts while a camera is pointed at you! It can result in some quite hilarious shots …

Founder of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series Mohammed Al Habtoor, with the Polo Director and the representatives from the sponsors from Julius Baer, Emirates, Bentley/Habtoor Motors and Moritz Grossman. And all the team representatives.
Photo credit Dorian Blond for DPGC

All the team representatives with the Bentley in front of the St Regis Dubai Al Habtoor City.
Photo credit Dorian Blond for DPGC

After all the frantic preparation, before we knew it the whole thing was over and the press release and pictures were sent out to the 500 media e-mails we have in the database and it was on to the next billion things on the to-do list. To read the press release click here.

So another day in the Dubai polo world with lots of new impressions and lessons and once again confirming that the saying, “A team is when people work together to achieve a common goal” is so very true. Thanks everyone!


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