HSBC Ends FEI Partnership as it Looks to Overhaul Sponsorship Strategy

March 7, 2013

Global banking giant, HSBC has revealed it will end its association with the FEI at the end of the 2013 season after six years as a major sponsor of Eventing.

The Hong Kong conglomerate, which put its name to the HSBC FEI Classics when it was first created in 2008, will remain as title sponsor of the series until the end of the current cycle at Burghley (GBR) in September. Pau (FRA) and Adelaide (AUS), which start the new 2013/2014 series, will be supported by HSBC and the cash award to the leading rider in the HSBC Rankings will be presented at the end of 2013.

HSBC, a familiar name on the international sporting circuit, is reviewing its overall sponsorship strategy and plans to focus on other sporting events in its key markets.

“We have had five wonderful years with the HSBC FEI Classics, and still have another one to go, and the series has proved hugely successful,” HSBC Group Head of Sponsorship, Giles Morgan said. “We would like to think that the series has now come of age and, as a result of its phenomenal success since we came in as title sponsors in 2008, that it will be snapped up by another sponsor keen to get global visibility in the equestrian world.

Morgan also revealed to iSportconnect that they are looking to associate themselves with fewer events in the future.

“We’ve realigned our sponsorship strategy, we are focusing in fewer bigger events and our key markets around the HSBC,” he added.

“The FEI strength is primarily in the UK with Badminton and Burghley but HSBC also sponsor Wimbledon, the British Lions and the Open Championship and it was felt we had enough top class sponsorship associations that we didn’t need Badminton and Burghley long term going forward.”

FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos paid tribute to HSBC for its support of equestrian sport. “HSBC has been a really great sponsor to work with and we are grateful that they had the vision to support a totally new concept, staying with it right from its conception through to its place now as one of the FEI’s flagship series. The HSBC FEI Classics has proved hugely popular with riders and with fans of the sport, and HSBC’s sponsorship has meant a major increase in prize money for Eventing which, in turn, has resulted in increased media coverage and visibility for our sport.

“We are very sorry to lose HSBC as a partner, and we are now of course proactively looking for a new sponsor for the series. We still have another year before we finally say goodbye to HSBC and our immediate focus is to ensure that the HSBC FEI Classics in 2013 provide a fitting farewell to HSBC and an acknowledgement of their incredible support of the series over the years.”

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