A new campaign showcasing the hard work, dedication and perseverance of equestrian athletes who dedicate their lives to reaching world-level sporting success has been launched by horse sport’s governing body.
The FEI’s Time To Beat cross-media campaign, launched at the start of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup 2021-2022 season, brings together the FEI, its Top Partner Longines and the Organising Committees of the North American League and Western European League to celebrate the human and equine athlete journey to the elite levels of the sport.
Time to Beat will be a three-year campaign that will see several activations around World Cup competitions to boost fan engagement and involvement.
FEI Commercial Director Ralph Straus said the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup competitions are full of edge-of-the-seat moments where winners can be determined by fractions of a second. “It is this sporting drama which engages fans and keeps them coming back for more each season.
“But these moments of brilliance are the culmination of years of hard work, patience and endless repetition. And when it comes down to that critical moment in a competition, it is the communication between the athlete and horse that is often the determining factor for a win. This horse-human connection takes years to create and it is this journey in time that we want to celebrate through the Time To Beat campaign,” Strauss said.
A video released to mark the start of the campaign connects the in-competition performance of the human and equine athletes with powerful images of the daily dedication and perseverance that athletes need to cultivate over time to reach their sporting goals.
The FEI’s partnership with Longines has come a long way since it became the federation’s Top Partner in 2012. The initial collaboration included several major rights packages including the Longines Jumping Rankings, the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup, FEI World Equestrian Games and the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup. It is also a Partner of the FEI Solidarity project on the retraining of racehorses, Title Partner of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup series and Presenting Partner of the FEI Awards Gala.
The Time to Beat campaign has found strong support with the Organising Committees of the North American League and Western European League where Longines is the Title Partner. The first leg of the North American League for the 2021-2022 season will kick off in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, on September 26, while Oslo in Norway will host the first leg of the Western European League on October 17.
“The pandemic situation has brought home to the sports world that our lives can also change dramatically from one minute to the next,” said Chris Pack, President and Operations Director at the Thunderbird Show Park in Langley.
“While this campaign is meant to highlight the hard work that goes into the making of a sports star, it is also a celebration for our community who have worked hard to find solutions and ways to ensure that our athletes and fans have the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup competitions to enjoy.”
Gothenburg Horse Show Show Director Tomas Torgersen said the campaign would “create a meaningful conversation around the power of equestrian sport”.
“Both the human and equine athlete require a strong mental connection and it is this special bond that always shines through during the Longines FEI World Cup competitions. It’s always a magical moment when an athlete gets the best out of their horse at that crucial moment of the competition. It’s in those few seconds that World champions are created and we want the world to see and experience this with us,” Torgersen said.
The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup was created in 1978 and is currently made up of 12 leagues across all continents. The top placed athlete-horse combinations from all Leagues are invited to attend the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final in Leipzig, Germany, in April 2022.