Tag Archives: Maserati

Merchant Hub CEO, Thomas Kato Takes on The Sport of Kings

Thomas Kato at the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach World Polo Cup

For it’s 8th year in a row, the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup brought the “sport of kings” to the shores of South Beach this past weekend.  First held in 2005, the Miami Beach Polo World Cup features an international lineup of competition, with polo teams coming from as far away as Argentina, Brazil, and Germany to compete for the La Martina Trophy.  All Miami Beach Polo World Cup polo matches are held on the beach — making the South Florida polo tournament “the world’s largest and most prestigious Polo Tournament on the Beach.” drawing celebrities and top-notch, famous polo players including, Nacho Figueras, Jamie Morrison, Luis Escobar, and Nic Roldan to name a few.

Polo Player Kris Kampsen with Directors from Gascon Wines, Polo Player Nic Roldan, and Polo Player Thomas Kato at the opening for the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup

Thomas Kato, Merchant Hub CEO, first developed an interest and passion for polo 5 years ago when he attended the Miami Beach Polo World Cup in 2007 and told himself, “I have to learn how to play polo and ride so I can play in this tournament.”  Merchant Hub has been involved in the sport of polo all over the world sponsoring competitions in London, China, Palm Beach, and Miami.  This year though marked the entry for Kato into the professional world of polo as a player for Team Lufthansa in the Miami Beach Polo World Cup.  Kato also served as the team patron and hired legendary polo players Luis Escobar and Jamie Morrison to play alongside him.

Thomas Kato with Merchant Hub sponsored Argentine team at the HPA Gaucho International in London led by Team Captain, Nacho Figueras.

Thomas Kato and Adolfo Cambiaso, World Renowned Polo Player taking in a charity polo match.

On Friday, Kato’s team – Lufthansa Private Jet was matched against The Raleigh and were defeated with a score of 9-6.  As play continued Saturday against Yellow Cab, although Lufthansa was not able to cinch the win, Kato did score his first goal for the team.  Well done!

“I feel really good about how we played this weekend.  I’m excited and motivated to work even harder training to become a better polo player and looking forward to competing in my next professional polo match.” said Kato.

Thomas Kato at the Santa Clara Polo Club in Wellington, FL.

Congratulations Thomas on such an incredible achievement and we too look forward to following your aspiring career in the esteemed sport of polo.

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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

Big Bets on Polo Could Yield Billions

There’s a new old game in town and a lot of very smart people are placing big bets on it.

The old game is polo, and this weekend it’s being played on white sand in front of the blue-green Atlantic in the fabulous and famously hot town of Miami Beach.

Thomas Kato (pictured in photo) Merchant Hub CEO, patron for Lufthansa’s polo team, & returning Miami Beach Polo Sponsor feels it is, “a great corporate bonding experience for our employees and an excellent way for us to give even more back to our merchants“.

And though you won’t see any upfront betting on these very expensive ponies and their star-studded riders, behind the scenes there’s big money being wagered that polo will be the next global super-sport.

Event producers, sponsors, and advertisers are betting that polo, already a magnet for the super-rich, can attract a huge audience of average Joes, who even if they aren’t aspiring up the economic ladder can enjoy rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous and drinking, dressing and driving what’s being dangled in front of them as the good life.

Polo is being cross-marketed to a cross-section of the global population. And, while the usual high-end brands are big sponsors, middle-market and economy-brand sponsors and advertisers want in on the good life gravy train.

Reposted from Forbes, article by: Shah Gilani

Click link to continue reading: http://www.forbes.com/sites/shahgilani/2012/04/27/big-bets-on-polo-could-yield-billions/

Ponies, Players Return to Miami Beach for Polo

After its appearance in Chicago, and on the way to a debut in China next year, beach polo returns to Miami Beach this weekend.

By Hannah Sampson, hsampson@MiamiHerald.com

Thomas Kato first came across beach polo as a spectator five years ago on Miami Beach.

He was hooked.

“I thought it was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen,” said the businessman, who lives in Miami and New York. “I said, ‘I need to play in this game.’ And I said, ‘I don’t even know how to ride horses.’”

Over the past few years, he’s bought horses, found a polo pro and learned how to play the “sport of kings.” And the credit card processing company that he founded and oversees as CEO, Merchant Hub, has become a sponsor over the last few years.

That’s the kind of devotion that a network of polo aficionados, led by promoter Bruce Orosz, is hoping to create around the world.

Miami Beach Polo World Cup, which started with women’s matches on Thursday, marks its eighth year in Miami Beach with a new title sponsor (Maserati) and an expansion last fall to Chicago under its belt.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/26/2769909/ponies-players-return-to-miami.html#storylink=cpy

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.