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If sponsors and vendors read COTH, we might lose the last ones!

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  • If sponsors and vendors read COTH, we might lose the last ones!

    My first Rolex, and I loved it. I had nothing to complain about.

    From the various Rolex threads, cheers & jeers, and also the "what did you buy"...

    These are some gems...

    So many things done well...only one thing thoroughly irritated me: Range Rover.

    Nevermind the struggle of wrapping my brain around why the United States Eq. Fed has a foreign car sponsorship... RR cars completely blocked my view to a stadium fence AND at the Hallows where even standing beside a bleacher you couldn't see anything of the drop elements because there is a car between you and the jump.

    I understand about wanting photos and video shots with the car in them, but to do so at the expense of paying spectators is really obnoxious. Not that I would buy a RR considering the reliability reports ( snipped link ) but I also won't buy products when they use less than considerate advertising tactics.
    First off, do the Brits complain that Mitsubishi sponsors Badminton? And, last I checked, Rolex was not an American watch company. Oh, and way to say "thanks" to companies for sponsoring, put any negative reviews for their products out in full view where they've sponsored an equestrian event. And, I hardly consider product placement at 2 fences inconsiderate advertising. On XC, the vehicle was on one side of one fence. It seemed like there were ways to get to the other side of the obstacle for spectating.

    And they had a new vendor: Bridgestone...which I thought was a little odd.. but could be me.
    For this person, did you not notice that it was Rolex Kentucky 3 Day Event presented by Bridgestone? That means they were probably a big sponsor, and almost everyone drives a car and lots of horse people have trucks and trailers in addition to cars.

    Someone else noticed that they were a sponsor later in the thread.

    Now, onto the vendors, everyone seems to want to find a fantastic (cheap) deal on regular stuff. How are these vendors supposed to make a living?

    I personally DO look at sponsorships when I consider future purchases. Not every sponsor has a product for me, but I'll look at Bridgestone tires more closely next time I'm buying tires for either my truck (6 + spare), trailer (5 + spare) or cars (8 + 2 spares). This does not mean I'll end up with that product, but that sponsorship and visibility at an equestrian event will make me consider them.

    I also dream of enough disposable savings to buy a Rolex watch. 1) I like watches (my only real jewelry), 2) they are pretty, and 3) they sponsor tons of equestrian events. And, I think it is cheaper to buy one than to campaign horses to the level where I would win one.

    I'm not an SUV driver, so the Land Rovers won't appeal to me, but, if I were, I would think about one...they have a lot of nice comfort features.

    Oh, and the complaint about them cutting down mature trees for the driving course...er...pot, meet kettle. Where exactly do you guys think those massive logs on XC courses come from? Saplings? And, according to Jimmy Wofford's COTH write up KHP has a policy of planting 2 new trees for every mature tree removed...because the new horse XC course had a few mature trees removed also.

    Then there are the complaints about "not enough vendors".

    It was my first time going to Rolex and my only recent comparison was World Cup in Las Vegas, where the shopping was much less than at Rolex. My other comparison points were back in the early days of Equitana USA and the late 90's Equine Affairs and similar shows, and I was pleased with the turnout.

    I had a great time, had not issues parking, had one minor annoyance that I bought my Saturday night Kentucky Cup tickets that morning and thus wasted $40 (2) as I had to leave and could not stay for Sunday, but IMO, it was great and I thought they did an excellent job of traffic, flow, and crowd control.

    I thank all the vendors who showed up, so I could see their wares, I wish I had a bigger budget for shopping, but truly appreciate the ability to try all those saddles in one place. Handle that many different products, and if I go next year, I'll be going with a bigger shopping budget.

  • #2
    I agree - the saddle shopping and browsing was extremely useful. As was the clothes shopping. I have no local tack store at all. For me it's not a question of trying it on at the store, and then buying it off the internet - I just buy off the internet and hope it fits ! It was wonderful to go to the ariat booth and buy a jacket that really fits. It was full price, and I love it. I have never had anything so expensive ($200) but I love it

    I am lucky enough to have visited a town in SC a couple of times this year. Last time I went, I tried on two helmets, and they fit, so I bought them. Hurrah ! Full retail ! (when I got back to my room and checked on the internet ... they were cheaper at the tack store - Hurrah 2 !!)

    I don't think that the reason we don't have tack stores near me is because vendors are mean and rotten. I think it's because our local market isn't big enough and concetrated enough - we're all too spread out geographically, and over many disciplines (compare with UK, ferinstance - a tack store in lots of towns, but vastly more concentrated population, and almost all ride 'english' - very little western, very little gaited, almost no saddleseat) It's a pity, for me. It was great to be able to try and buy so much stuff at Rolex.

    As for Bridgestone, their free bag is wonderful. I still have my Purina one from last year - I keep my ball of flocking wool in it, when visiting, so it keeps it from acquiring bits of hay and shavings. My new Bridgestone one is even better !


    • #3
      Our next tires for hubby's hard-to-fit car are coming from Bridgestone, thanks to them being there.
      We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.


      • #4
        Well said, OP. I read that bit dissing Range Rover and it left a sour taste in my mouth. Thank you for standing up and saying something.
        Chronicles of the $700 Pony
        The Further Adventures of the $700 Pony
        www.blithetraveler.com <-- My Blog


        • #5
          This was something like my 14th consecutive Rolex, and it was fabulous, as usual. (Not that the deaths in previous years were good things, I mean more along the lines of organization etc)

          There was definitely a difference in the number and types of vendors at this year's Rolex, but I suspect many were saving their vendor fees and travel dollars for WEG.

          I think a tire company being a giant sponsor of a high end equestrian event makes a ton of sense, frankly probably better sense than an ultra-classy watch company, if you think about it

          As to the LR test drive area, I highly doubt they took down trees just for that. I'd bet that's part of the remodel for WEG, or that the trees were nearing the end of their natural lives anyway. There's an awful lot at KHP that has been dug up, paved, remodeled, moved, enlarged, replanted, etc. and that's a busy corner. There's plans for that corner I'd bet!

          My only mild beef with the whole extended weekend is that there were no shuttles to the far parking lots. Otherwise I think they do a really good job herding all those people and for the most part keeping everyone from riders to vendors to visitors happy.

          Already looking forward to next year!


          • #6
            I actually was hugely thankful for Land Rover and Bridgestone being there - it gave the not-too-horsey boyfriend something to do (he- I should say we - had a lot of fun on bridgestone's virtual formula 1 thingy, and doing the LR test drive)

            Didn't find they blocked my view at all - besides, the view to the Hollow was MUCH better on the opposite side of the bleachers anyway
            "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

            My CANTER blog.


            • #7
              "we might lose the last ones!" Hardly. I first attended Rolex in '79 and then another 20 or so since. There was more sponsorship this year than I've ever seen before.

              I've been to NFL football, NASCAR, NHL Hockey, and never, ever have I been unable to witness significant portions of those events because of sponsor advertising. In my paid for staduim seating I was completely unable to see the second fence, nor could I see the approach or tell if there had been a rail down. For some reason its perfectly fine that after spending hundreds of dollars to spectate--never mind over 1K in the the trade fair--that sponsorship plugs completely block my view of portions of the proceedings? I'm gobsmacked that anyone thinks that's just fine.

              And as far as Rolex watches is concerned I haven't noticed the failures of US watch makers effecting the wallets of every taxpayer and causing massive unemployment. So yes, I'm disappointed that a US sports organization, the USEF, with such elite ties has thumbed their noses at a struggling US industry.

              I'm sorry but I think I'll stand by my quote.

              By the way, since you are demonizing me I'd like to know if YOU went into the Bridgestone tent, asked to speak to whoever was in change and then personally thanked them for their sponsorship. I did.
              Last edited by subk; Apr. 28, 2010, 11:10 AM.


              • #8

                Just as an FYI - Range Rover was an American owned company until 2008 when Ford sold it and Jaguar to an Indian company. And at the end of the day, who really cares? I would much rather have a foreign sponsor then no sponsor at all because no sponsor means no Rolex.


                • #9
                  Never mind
                  Last edited by saje; Apr. 28, 2010, 11:18 AM. Reason: not worth the effort


                  • #10
                    Great post, op

                    Another good thing to point out about Land Rover being there: they give something for the many spouses who were dragged there by horsey spouses to do! lol (referring to the test drives)

                    I am always disappointed this high end event is not on television. Heck even PPV would be better than having to watch it online. I don't understand why no one broadcasts this ... it is way bigger (imo) as an international event than the derby. And people can bet on it too, I'm sure. ESPN, I'm talking to you.

                    But yes, kudos to the sponsors. I'll seriously consider Bridgestone for my next set of tires


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AzuWish View Post
                      I am always disappointed this high end event is not on television. Heck even PPV would be better than having to watch it online. I don't understand why no one broadcasts this ... it is way bigger (imo) as an international event than the derby. And people can bet on it too, I'm sure. ESPN, I'm talking to you.
                      Actually, it's covered by NBC Sports and is usually aired on NBC the Saturday after the KY Derby with promos during Derby. I know NBC was there again this year although I haven't heard when it will air.


                      • #12
                        I’m pretty certain that Land Rover paid a whole more to sponsor than single people paid to spectate… well into the tens of thousands, would be my guess, directly into the coffers of RK3DE... not to mention the investment in signage, vehicle detailing, staffing, promotions, etc. that would have been paid out to Land Rover’s vendors so they could do it up right on the day.

                        Chances are event organizers approached American auto makers and were told there was no budget for sponsorship, so I doubt any nose-thumbing occurred either.


                        • #13
                          subK: Universal Sports is owned by NBC (US supplied the online footage). But that raises an interesting point if they will air it later ... I've never looked for it after the competition. Of course, I already paid for it and watched it online

                          ETA: I realize my last post made it look like I was dissing NBC. Not in the least. Some footage is better than no footage! I'd just like to see it on actual TV so I can get it in HD


                          • #14
                            You know, sponsors do most likely read COTH, or have results crop up via one of the electronic monitoring services that search engines offer...

                            I remember being at a meeting once where someone said that "a complaint is a gift" because it gives you something to improve on. Of course I took advantage of the opening to complain about something... and got a result

                            So event organizers and sponsors may find that particular complaint a gift, whether we agree with it or not. We won't know till next year.
                            Publisher, http://www.endurance-101.com
                            Blog: http://blog.seattlepi.com/horsebytes/


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DLee View Post
                              Our next tires for hubby's hard-to-fit car are coming from Bridgestone, thanks to them being there.

                              Same here.....since I had TWO blow outs this spring....and now need to replace some tires on my trailer (as well as truck)...I will give them my business as well.

                              Smart move on their part when you look at how many vehicles with LOTS of tires that horse people own!!!!

                              Honestly, I think the eventers are under estimated by a lot of corporate sponsors. There are a lot of use who spend a great deal of money on their products...and will change some of our normal purchases to give business to sponsors. I always check the USEA and see who are the corporate sponsors....and try and keep that in mind.

                              ETA: I do agree though that for stadium....views for the spectators should not be blocked. Nor do I suspect that is something the sponors want as well. That is something that should hopefully be addressed for next year as well as WEG. I would think that falls more on the organizers not the sponsors.
                              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                              • #16
                                I don't really get the whole support the home industry thing, tbh, (but then hey, I'm a first generation european immigrant, aren't I, as opposed to a 3rd or 4th !) Things get built efficiently, sold, traded ... it's a good thing. No matter where it happens, the knock-on effects of a good product are global. Jobs are created wherever it's built, assembled, sold, driven ... jobs created for Johnny Foreigner may be frowned upon in our good and great country, but when he has money in his pocket, even Johnny F has the money to go out and buy OUR stuff ! The negative effect on 'us' of having an actual manufacturing base in one country rather than another, is pretty small, compared to the positive global effect of a thriving economy - no matter where it is. If India and China, for example, are booming ... that's not necessarily a Bad Thing for us, it's a Good Thing (economically speaking).


                                • #17
                                  As one of the people who was disappointed with the shopping, I have to say I am VERY thankful to every equine vendor that showed up! My disappointment was not with a lack of good deals (there were plenty!) but rather, there were a lot less horse related booths than in years gone by. Because this thread actually made me consider the point of sponsorship (and what would happen without it), I will be spending my money with companies that are supporting my sport-- whether it be on tires from Bridgestone or a saddle from one of the companies that sent a rep.


                                  • #18
                                    I thought the Range Rover "cross country course" was pretty cool.
                                    Click here before you buy.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                      I thought the Range Rover "cross country course" was pretty cool.
                                      Yeah, until somebody didn't navigate the little bridge just right and the thing ended up getting stuck in the mud at about a 45 degree angle
                                      I heard there was a "you break it, you buy it" type of clause in the form you had to fill out. I bet that person nearly had a heart attack!
                                      The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.


                                      • #20
                                        subk... your seats must have been just awful!!

                                        I suggest next year that you indeed spend "hundreds" and get Patron Plus tickets and sit over by the in gate. That's what I did. Oh, but guess what??? I really had no view from MY seat, on the front row, of the very first fence on course, oh the horror!!! Sometimes, you just aren't going to get to see all the fences, sometimes, the sponsor that spent big bucks so that you could AFFORD the tickets is going to want advertising in a prominent place. If you get your tickets early enough and are familiar with the venue, you can usually figure out which seats are going to be the best. Many folks bought tickets for the show jumping Saturday evening that was postponed and had to leave. They lost their $$ but hey, that's mother nature for you. The grandstands weren't full, sometimes you can move a bit. As an aside, the owner's of Buck Davidson's horse (and several other owners) were in the same seats I was, and they weren't griping about the view.

                                        To the poster that complained about Land Rover. Land Rover's course did not remove any mature trees, they had already been taken down from that corner, and they put that obstacle course where it would do the least damage. I can only imagine what they spent on that, how many cars there were getting filthy and mileage (which of course then get sold as "demos") I've lusted after Land Rover's for years, but the lowest end one is significantly more than I paid for the new Cadillac station wagon I just got, or I'd own one, in part because they DO sponsor horse sports.

                                        You all do not seem to understand that without the vast investment by corporate sponsors (who do, in part, get to call many of the shots on advertising placement) we could not even BEGIN to afford to pay the ticket prices necessary to host these events. Everyone has been bitching for months about how expensive the WEG tickets are and even with the large corporate sponsorship, it is going to lose money by the bucketload. The nascar teams all have multiple sponsors now, RJ Reynolds dropped all their sponsorship several years ago, it isn't worth it to them any longer. Be thankful for and support any and all sponsors and vendors, it's why we can all afford to attend. Otherwise, we'd just all sit around and gripe because the ticket prices went up, we stayed home, and they don't run Rolex anymore.