Walking into the Four Seasons hotel in Hong Kong on the weekend, there were FIVE Ferraris parked almost next to each other.
In fact, it’s said that Hong Kong has the most number of Ferraris per capita, and with the most loyal fans of Founder Enzo Ferrari’s super luxury sports car being businessmen who happen to be racehorse owners as well as a number of jockeys and trainers.
In fact, former Champion Hong Kong jockey and leading trainer, Tony Cruz, collects Ferraris like some of us collect Dinky toys.
For the past few years, I’ve always wondered why this magnificent brand with its famous and distinct “prancing horse” logo that has that out-of-this-world playground Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi where there is The Fastest Ride in the world, isn’t part of Hong Kong racing.
Belissimo! Ferrari and the HKJC where one type of horsepower meets a different type of horse power.
Why hasn’t this yet happened?
Is it because the brand wishes to only be associated with Formula 1 racing, or does it have to do with Chairman of the company- Luca di Montezemolo and his team- not being pitched a good enough answer to every sponsor’s question: “What’s in it for us?”
If the latter, the days of “naming rights” for one race day including a Cup race named after a sponsor with a “gala dinner” thrown in- and this only restricted to horse racing news- is just not good enough.
Simply put, it’s not enough bangs for their bucks, especially for Ferrari and its prancing horse branding.
Everything must be bigger, bolder and as daring in thinking as Juan Manuel Fangio in full flight.
So, imagine, a complete- and ongoing campaign and partnership- that includes horse racing in Hong Kong along with a link with the HKJC’s Charities Trust, the Central Police Station Revitalisation Project and where it is in this city is announced The Ferrari Award for the World’s Best Sprinter.
Of course, the Bigger Picture is having Ferrari being the trailblazer it’s always been become the name behind what I have been revving the motor about for months on end: The World Racing Hall Of Fame Awards.
Add to this, the Annual Ferrari World Racing Awards- a red carpet event held in Hong Kong and horse racing’s answer to the music industry’s Grammy Awards, the film industry’s Oscars, the television industry’s Emmys, horse racing’s answer to the Laureus World Sports Awards, Broadway’s Tony Awards etc.
The sponsorship of horse racing and bringing in other brands apart from the tremendous support of, especially, Longines, Emirates and BMW is vital to the future of the sport- the prize money, perception, adding glamour, bringing in new owners, providing added appeal for new ownership syndicates- who knows about Hong Kong’s Ferrari Owners Club?- broadcast rights, merchandising et al- and where Ferrari can lead this new charge.
This is a very smart brand- a brand that’s as aspirational as being a horse owner or being part of a racing syndicate with a great Group 1 winning horse like Hong Kong Horse Of The Year- Designs On Rome.
With its Ferrari Fanatics and other presence on social media, and despite its “Princelings” image that rears its head once in a while in Mainland China when censors wish to put in place the super-rich who flaunt their wealth with the ownership of the Prancing Horse, Ferrari will never ever go out of style. Or be silenced.
Like a Katy Perry song, Ferrari was born to roar- and, gawd knows, it would be great to have the brand roar and drive horse racing in Hong Kong to even even greater heights with that super-Italian horsepower.
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