U.S. Polo Association’s Chairman Joe Meyer to focus more time on one of his startup ventures
Meyer informed the Board and the Nominating Committee last week, that after 13 years being involved with the Board, he will not seek a third term as Chairman. Meyer shared the following:
Dear Fellow Polo Players,
For 13 years I have been involved with the Board of Governors and the Association as a committee member, Marketing Chairman, Circuit Governor, Secretary, President, and now Chairman and am proud of the accomplishment we have attained as an Association. I have been honored and humbled to serve this fantastic 125-year-old organization that represents the sport of polo in the United States. However, due a to significant opportunity in my new startup and other personal commitments, I have advised the chairman of the Nominating Committee as well as the Board of Governors that I do not want to be considered for a third term as chairman in the upcoming Officer Election.
I am very proud of what I have led, while working with many others for our Association. The following were efforts that took passion, energy and time but have paid huge dividends to the Association:
- Team USPA: Team USPA started 10 years ago when I noticed we had virtually no up-and-coming American players. I looked at England's program and went to Chairman Biddle. After convincing him of the need to have a program and working through a few concepts, he appointed Charles Smith to lead the effort and then we funded the program. Its success today is nothing short of amazing.
- American Rule: In 2008, there was discussion around Americans not being able to get polo opportunities. Again the Board thought it was a good idea, but a few board members were opposed to the idea and it looked like it was going to fail in Santa Barbara. I called Jeff Hall along with a few others and advised them to come to the meeting. We rallied American players and board members, and the American rule passed with only one descending vote. The American Rule, along with Team USPA, have done more for our American Players then anything in the history of the USPA.
- Polo 2020 Strategic Plan, From this plan came USPA, Umpires LLC and the programs that are exceptional today such as the Polo Development Initiative Program, giving money to the clubs to help at the local level, marketing of the sport to spread awareness and add value and authenticity to the clothing brand that has generated almost $200 million to the Association. We initiated the Regional Polo Centers, initiated procedures for handicaps and fixed a few corporate governance issues with Resolutions 4.1 and 4.2.
- Polo-Pony Welfare Guide: First Equine welfare guide in 2008, that included the heat index and now has been updated and is being used internationally,
- Marketing and TV Efforts: As Marketing Chairman we had the U.S. Open Polo Championship® on NBC with fantastic viewership and recognition. Our marketing efforts allow for local clubs to to point to potential sponsors the clear benefit of hospitality and advertising to help the clubs gain traction. We must maintain all of our TV / broadcast rights regarding polo so we maintain this asset similar to our licensing business. The USPA should not give up any our our 125-year history for private individuals or groups to leverage without some form of compensation. At the same time we should help and promote new ideas to help grow the sport.
I share the above with you to demonstrate what can get done when you have the will and passion to make it happen for the benefit of the Association. However, it takes everyone playing on the same team to make it happen.
I have provided the Board with a few ideas I feel need to have continued focus and where some changes should be made. The incoming officers and board members will continue to do what is in the best interest of your Association and for polo.
The Association is in a very strong financial position, and the envy of other organizations. This is only true because the Board has made strategic decisions to protect our 125-year traditions and our intellectual property. We must work with our clubs to help grow polo locally and fund the projects that work. The Board is focused on these efforts.
With the upcoming Governor-at-Large Election, I ask you to vote for the governors who are working with others to continue to make the organization strong.
One thing I know about this great sport and the U.S. Polo Association is that it is bigger then all of us and I am confident the players, club delegates, and this Board will work to make polo better. There’s still work to be done between now and our fall meeting. I look forward to seeing everyone at the Annual Meeting in Washington. Come join us and get involved like I did 13 years ago; you won’t regret the opportunity.
Let’s play polo.
Proud Chairman of the U.S. Polo Association