By Michael Saucier
Scottsdale Airpark businesses are gearing up for the biggest party (polo party, that is) of the year, the Nov. 1-2 Scottsdale Ferrari-Maserati Polo Championships: Horses+Horsepower. The Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, Pinnacle Bank, Pinnacle Aviation, Sapporo, Dominick’s Steakhouse and the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show are leveraging the event to showcase who they are and what they do.
For example, Pinnacle Aviation is tapping into the crowd by providing the only two-story structure on the site of the Polo Championships at WestWorld. Polo Party attendees will do any banking onsite at Pinnacle Bank machines, and the bank bought two tables at the event as a creative way to reward employees and customers. Barrett-Jackson and the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show have been involved in the event since the outset and have used the “horses+horsepower” platform as a sneak preview event for their spectacles. Novocur Pain Management Clinics will entertain the Valley’s top doctors and surgeons at a spread of tables in the high-energy and high-style Volvo of Phoenix tent presented by Phoenix Fashion Week.
“Pinnacle Aviation is thrilled to be a part of the upcoming Scottsdale Polo Championship. As a Signature Sponsor of this upscale event, we welcome guests to be a part of the excitement as we host a sky lounge that will provide the perfect view of the action-packed match,” said Pinnacle Aviation Founder and CEO Curt Pavlicek.
“The ambiance and prestige of the Scottsdale Polo Championships will complement the higher level of private aircraft services Pinnacle Aviation provides.”
If readers of local publications have been paying attention, they have followed with curiosity the story of the polo championships—a truly local event, albeit speckled with national and international influences that somehow pull together the worlds of Barrett-Jackson exotic car lovers, appreciators of the beauty of Arabian horses and the fashion world.
Polo and Scottsdale just seem to go well together. There’s the weather, of course, and the beautiful setting. But there’s also a spirit of daring and audacity that is reflective of the Old West.
The event has grown each year, topping 9,000 fans last year, in its second presentation. This year, with an expanded event schedule and an amped-up polo lineup including the sport’s top players, more vendors, more sponsors and the 2013 Arizona Porsche Concours d’Elegance car show, the Polo Party is expected to draw up to 15,000 polo fans and revelers to WestWorld of Scottsdale, with its breathtaking backdrop of McDowell Mountains and striking white tents lining the field.
The big match features the Clogau Wales Polo Team squaring off against the U.S. Military Polo Team at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2.
Before that, at 1 p.m., there will be another new addition to the Scottsdale polo docket in the form of a Battle of the Sexes match with a Women’s All-Star Team facing the Arizona Polo Club (men).
The day will start off at 10 a.m., when the gates open, and the first match pits America’s high school champions, Work to Ride, against the country’s 2012 college champions, the University of Virginia.
Of course, the event isn’t polo alone. It’s also a huge party. And there are so many ways to enjoy the polo party. You can nosh on fine food from M Catering, available in the Neiman Marcus VIP Tent and the Molina Fine Jewelers Drivers & Players VIP Lounge, as well as concessions throughout. Or you could drink in the action on the field with a complimentary glass of champagne at the Olive & Ivy Champagne Lounge, the only champagne-themed bar onsite. You can even enjoy the polo matches from the Sleep America Bedroom and with king-size beds placed field-side.
This year, it all gets started on Friday, Nov. 1, when gates open at 3 p.m. for a sneak preview of the championships and the fashion show. There will be an all-star match at 4 p.m. and then a 5:30 p.m. introduction of the players. The festivities culminate with a 6 p.m. Sunset Equestrian Fashion Show presented by Phoenix Fashion Week.
Tickets are now on sale at www.thepoloparty.com. Limited tables are available for reservations on a first-come, first-serve basis. Information about corporate sponsorship opportunities is also available.