Category Archives: MerchantHub & Polo

Tommy Takes His Talents to Gloucestershire Polo

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Tommy Kato’s life has been a bit of a whirlwind over the past few years. In that time, he has transitioned from developing commercial properties for retailers and Fortune 100 companies to founding and becoming the CEO of Merchant Hub; a multi national payment processing company with offices throughout the United States, Brazil, Milan and London. When asked what his main priority for Merchant Hub was, Tommy replied, “My number one priority is being able to offer our customers something that’s going to be the most beneficial to them and something they can offer to their customers that’ll be really beneficial to both of them.” This has indeed been the case because in Merchant Hub’s fifth year it has continued to grow 200% annually with plans of expansion across South America and Europe.

If this wasn’t an already lengthy resume, Tommy also finds time to play professional polo in major events such as the Gloucestershire Festival of Polo and being involved in several note worthy charities like the No Child Hungry in Miami, Florida. Being a young entrepreneur isn’t always easy, “I’m typically on the plane once or twice a week”, Tommy explains, when describing how he juggles business and fatherhood. When asked about his experience of being invited to play alongside his Royal Highness Prince William and Prince Harry on Fathers Day in England, Tommy replied, “It was a nice friendly game; great experience to be around the guys.” Although, Tommy makes it look easy we should note that getting your pony to gallop in line with the ball, pass it to a teammate and finally attempting to make a goal is one of the reasons why the sport is arguably one of the most challenging. We’re excited to see what Tommy has in store for the future of Merchant Hub as well as his future as a professional polo player.

The Gloucestershire Festival of Polo June 15-16th

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The Gloucestershire Festival of Polo, hosted by the renowned Beaufort Polo Club over the 15-16th of June, is a weekend certainly not to be missed. Tommy Kato, CEO of Merchant Hub, will be participating in the highlight of the polo action on Sunday — the charity polo match, raising money for charity and providing lively and entertaining polo action.

Tickets are selling fast! For more information and to book your tickets now, please visit their websiteFor further information please contact the Events Team: email: events@beaufortpoloclub.co.uk.

Merchant Hub To Sponser The HPA Gaucho International Polo

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The HPA Gaucho International Polo kicks off in London on May 2 – 21, 2013 with a festival of music, complimentary wine tastings and the highest quality international polo.

Merchant Hub is proud to be sponsoring the HPA Guacho International polo.  Ranked as one of the top 100 polo players in the world, Nacho Figueras, sometimes called the “David Becham of Polo” will be joining the Merchant Hub team in London. The HPA Gaucho International Polo (www.gauchopolo.com) brings together the world’s greatest polo players for three matches of exciting arena polo, culminating with the anticipated IG England v Cheval des Andes Argentina match where British Captain Jamie Morrison will go mallet-to-mallet with Argentinian rival Nacho Figueras.

The evening kicks off at 5.30pm with a festival of music, complimentary wine tastings, and international polo with the headline match at 8pm. A Gaucho Hospitality Experience package offers a full day of sport and festivities with backstage tours, a ‘Meet The Polo Player’ three-course lunch and an exclusive private tour of the Wine Tasting Village and VIP Grandstand seating.

Tickets for Gaucho Polo are available now, starting at £20 by visiting gauchopolo.com/tickets/.

To book the Gaucho Polo Player Menu, please visit www.toptable.co.uk.

For more information about the event, please visit www.gauchopolo.com.

Merchant Hub Sponsors Miami Beach Polo 2013

  The world’s largest and most prestigious polo tournament on the beach is back – the Miami Beach Polo World Cup 2013! On April 25, beginning with the South Beach Women’s Polo Cup V, join avid fans, renowned players, celebrities and more as they enjoy the sun and the “sport of kings” on the pristine beaches of Miami Beach. Among the men team players are Thomas Kato, CEO of Merchant Hub. For it’s 9th year in a row Merchant Hub is proud to be a sponsor of Miami Beach Polo. For tickets or more info. visit  http://www.miamipolo.com.

Miami Beach Polo World Cup 2013
April 25 – 28, 201
Between 21st and 22nd Streets
Miami Beach

Schedule:

Thursday, April 25 – South Beach Women’s Polo Cup V, Miami Beach Polo World Cup IX Kick-Off Party
Friday, April 26 – Miami Beach Polo World Cup IX
Saturday, April 27 – Miami Beach Polo World Cup IX & Fashion Show by La Martina
Sunday, April 28 – Miami Beach Polo World Cup IX Final Play-Offs, Finals & Farewell Party

Great Job Team Lufthansa & Merchant Hub at the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup

2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup, Lufthansa Team
Thomas Kato-Merchant Hub CEO & Team Patron, Jamie Morrison-Top UK Player, & Luis Escobar-Top US Polo Player pose with Lufthansa Directors

Merchant Hub Spotlights Britain’s Finest Polo Player – Jamie Morrison

Jamie Morrison will play this weekend in the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo Cup on the sands of South Beach alongside teammates Luis Escobar and Thomas Kato for Lufthansa Private Jets and once again against Nacho Figueras.

Nacho Figueras, Thomas Kato, & Jamie Morrison at Gaucho International Polo

Morrison sat down with Anna Tyzack and shared his history with the sport of polo and what he calls the perfect weekend.

Unless something extraordinary happens, I play polo every weekend, which is exactly how I like it. I look forward to it all week and take it very seriously. On Friday night I never want to go too crazy as I’m worried about being off form for the game on Saturday morning. My ideal would be a quiet dinner with some friends at the local pub – it’s a far cry from any of the racy antics portrayed in Jilly Cooper’s book Polo.

Saturday morning is invariably an early start as the game gets under way at 10am and I’ll want to spend some time getting focused beforehand. People often assume polo is only played on grass in the summer in Britain – which used to be the case – but now, with arena polo, it can be played all year round. I have two strings of ponies; one for winter and one for summer. I adore all of them but Twiggy is my favourite for winter and Louisa is my top pony for summer.

It was my dad, Bryan Morrison [former music mogul, manager of Pink Floyd and publisher of music by Elton John, the Bee Gees and Wham] who got me into polo. He started playing when he was about 30, having never so much as sat on a horse before. He went to watch a game at Ham Polo Club on the edge odf west London and that was that: love at first sight. He learnt to play and soon afterwards founded the Royal Berkshire Polo Club with Prince Charles as the first member. Prince William and Prince Harry have played with us on many occasions.

That said, our membership is much more diverse than you might think. It ranges from successful entrepreneurs to kids just taking up the game. My father’s view was that if anyone wanted to play polo, they should have a right to do it. Back when he started, the game was a bit stuffy and old money and Army; the arrival of an Essex boy made good changed everything. Whenever Dad saw something he thought was special, he believed everyone should be able to do it, not just the privileged. He once saw a real tennis club he liked; so he bought it, and opened it up to new members. That’s what he was like.

It was Dad who brought arena polo to Britain. He was in Chicago on a business trip for George Michael and saw a sign for polo. He followed the signs for a few blocks until he reached an underground arena. When he got back home he built a similar all-weather arena at home and we started playing through the winter. Now, 18 years later, arena polo is a serious business, ensuring the top players don’t necessarily zip back to Argentina or Barbados during our winter. On Wednesday I’m playing at London’s O2 Arena for the Gaucho International.

 *Posted story By Anna Tyzack, of The Telegraph – “Jamie Morrison, England polo player, shares his favourite weekend”.

 

Merchant Hub Spotlights Polo Player Luis Escobar

Luis Escobar enjoys living and playing polo in Wellington and wants to share his passion with the world.

Escobar and Kazi enjoying the win at the 2011 Miami Beach World Polo Cup

Escobar first came to Wellington with his parents in 1978 when he was 7 and was hooked. He finished high school in Costa Rica, then moved to Wellington in 1989 and attended Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, graduating with a marketing degree. Escobar played polo when he could, basing his operation out of Santa Clara Polo Club, which his father purchased in 1984. “My father named it after my mom’s third name, Clara,” said Escobar. “Santa stands for Saint. He realized she had to be a Saint if she was married to him, hence the name Santa Clara.”

As a 7 goal player, Escobar just finished the season playing for Coca-Cola in the US Open and this week will play for the 4th year in a row at the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach World Polo Cup for the Lufthansa Private Jet team alongside National Team Captain for the UK team, Jamie Morrison and Merchant Hub CEO and team patron, Thomas Kato.

The Miami Beach World Polo Cup takes place on the sands of South Beach April 26th-29th.  Escobar had this to say about the tournament, “I think it’s fantastic.  I think it’s one of the best events for polo.  The people who come here really get into it.  The horses love it, the players are good.  The quality of players they are bringing is getting better and better every year.  So it’s getting very, very competitive, it’s going to get harder and harder every year”.

Luis Escobar

“Luis has an incredible reputation in the world of polo and has won countless tournaments over the last 30 years, I’m honored to play in my first professional polo match alongside him”, said teammate and team patron, Thomas Kato.

Lufthansa is sponsoring both men’s and women’s matches at the 2012 Miami Beach World Polo Cup after winning the 2011 Chicago Beach Polo.