Almost a year ago to the day, I sat across our boardroom table from passionate polocrosse advocate Les Fraser who thought it would be a good idea for us get involved in the 2019 Polocrosse World Cup which was to be played in Warwick, Queensland. With the World Cup now safely back in Australian hands this is my journey into the adventure of a lifetime, that was the “Adina Polocrosse World Cup”.
It has to be said that at this point 12 months ago I didnt know a great deal about polocrosse aside from what my retailer, Debbie Davidge in Temora Central NSW had told me which to be fair was not a hell of lot apart from the basics of tough, fast, horses and rum! All sounding pretty good at this point! But in all seriousness it was Les and Robyn Fraser who have a trucking concern in Warwick, who put forward a very compelling case for us to get involved. The sport is played across regional Australia where we have a strong footprint of retailers and consumers who understand the Adina brand and ethos. We would be able to showcase our watchmaking prowess as we go about creating a very special edition of watches that you could only own by playing at the World Cup. Thirdly it was a chance to to be the naming rights sponsor of a World Cup, not a bad trifecta from where I was sitting.
However the mind can sometimes want you to play it safe when a leap of faith is needed. My Father, Bob and I discussed it. Could we really do this? Could we not only really do this but do it really well? We were going to find out so in early June whilst on holiday agreed to be the naming rights sponsor for the 2019 Polocrosse World Cup, Now to be known as the ‘Adina Polocrosse World Cup“. As part of our sponsorship we had to deliver a watch for each participant in the World Cup and now had only 10 months to create and make a timepiece that would do justice to this auspious occasion. This was not going to be easy, usually we would give ourselves 14 months for a project of the complexity. You have to remember that every component has to be manufacutured to our specifications in 9 different factories in 5 countries before it can be assembled by hand here in Brisbane and can be presented as a finished unique Adina “Players” watch.
There has already been a lot said about the actual ‘Players” Adina watch hence I am not going to spend too much time on the actual inspiration for what we created. The real story lies in how we created it! First with a piece of paper each component is hand drawn to give us an over all impression of what the watch will look like in the end, before the technical drawings are then finalised. This process of each component being technically drawn up can take weeks as there so many factories working together in unison. The only way to speed this up is to go to each factory continually throughout the process to ironing out any problems along there and then on the spot in the factory, so that is what had to happen!
First things first. We needed somewhere to stay for the duration of the event! The solution really just fell from the sky and in retrospect was one of the luckiest breaks during this whole process. We decided to stay just out of town in the charming village of Allora where the decision was made to rent the entire Commercial Hotel for the duration of the event to house and feed not only our team that was onsite but th our guests as well. Across the event the Publican Robyn and her team went above and beyond to makes us feel welcome and create a sanctuary away from Morgan Park and my liver is thankful for it! We were able to relax away from the bustling Warwick and reset ready for the next day.
Meanwhile now the watches were under way we had to switch our focus from being a watch producer to being an event promoter to help in any way we could, the marketing team of the Warwick Polocrosse Club who were hosting the event to ensure the event was a roaring success. Success for an event can be measured in a number of ways but for me it was always about the number of people we could get through the gate to enjoy what we hoped would be an incredible spectacle! Remember, at this point I have still never seen a game!
Our socials would be doing the majority of the heavy lifting so collaboration with close friend of Adina, Alessandro Meucci we developed a strategy that would steadily engage not only the public but the players as well. With our social strategy now in motion the next piece of the puzzle was the signage. As the the naming rights sponsor, people when they walked through the gate had to be in no doubt where they were. They were at the Adina Polocrosse World Cup! Again in colaboration with our signage partners Allclear, hundreds of metres of mesh, vinyl and corflute were produced. Add to that bunting to hang in the clubhouse, coasters, brochures and stickers for the ground that was all to add atomosphere and presence to the event. Now it is one thing to have all this made but it is another to hang it all!
Our retail presece both at the ground and in town was also to be imporrtant so again in partnership with our retailer in Warwick we engaged in a two prong approach that would showcase our watches in the beast possible light. In town we created an Adina boutique with in the walls of our retailer Warwick Watchmakers and Jewellers so that anyone wandering through town could drop in a see the majority of our collection in very relaxed surrounds. out at Morgan Park however we needed to showcase our entire collection in a premium manner whilst placing an emphasis on the “Collectors and Supporters” editions of watch that we had created to compliment the “Players” watch. This space also need to be very functional housing a watchmakers bench for adjustments and the like. What a mission!
Now a week out we had only one more hurdle to overcome besides surviving the event, how does deliver the watches sound?! With the event in full cry and four days before I was to present the watches to the players, my wife Nichole found herself on a plane to Hong Kong to pick up the buckles for the bracelets that were running behind, she then flew back through the night to ensure the buckle could then be put on the bracelets before the presentations Saturday. Talk about photo finish!
With event now resigned to the history books with Australia regaining the World Cup and our watches are being worn proudly around the World, for me it will always be something much more than a sporting event we were involved in. The ten months were a true journey in every sense of the word and I am sure, I am a better person for the experience and were anyone ask today would would I do it all again, I would say absolutely! Not because we achieved all the things we set out to achieve but because I am now personally part of the polocrosse family and for that I am eternally grateful.