Swiss watchmaker Rolex has signed an unprecedented 10-year sponsorship agreement with Florida’s Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and the world-renowned FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival.
Rolex will become the “Official Timepiece” of both, after the agreement with Equestrian Sport Productions, which also includes a $US1.63 million dollar increase in prize money.
The world-renowned FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) serves almost 6,000 horses and 2000 riders from 50 states and more than 30 countries.
The long-term partnership will bring the total prize money at the festival to more than $US8 million, making it one of the richest circuits in the world.
Three new FEI-rated CSI 5* events will be added to the schedule. There will also be a new US $1 million Palm Beach Challenge presented by Rolex bonus opportunity.
Another highlight of the association is that two of the CSI 5* Grand Prix events will be televised and many others will be distributed by Rolex through their media partnerships in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
“We are honored to be partnered with one of the most respected brands in the world,” said Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC.
“Through this partnership, we will provide the resources to elevate the level of Show Jumping for the Americas and expose PBIEC to a broader international audience.”
FTI WEF weeks 3, 5, 7, and 10 will feature a US $300,000 Saturday Night Grand Prix. FTI WEF 12 will feature the US $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix.
The “Palm Beach Challenge presented by Rolex” applies to four of the five 5* events and awards a US $1 million bonus to any horse and rider combination that wins the four consecutive CSI 5* Grand Prix events at FTI WEF 3, 5, 10, and 12. The winner of two consecutive Grand Prix will receive US $50,000 and the winner of three of four will receive a US $100,000 bonus.
Finally, Rolex offered a substantial contribution to the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge (GCC), presented by Fidelity Investments, an equestrian Show Jumping competition founded by Mark Bellissimo and his daughter Paige. The event on February 1, 2014, is a competition where the world’s top riders team up with equestrian sport’s most prominent families in a unique competition that awards a sliding scale of prize money to each of the 34 randomly selected charities in Palm Beach County.