CHICAGO, IL – Qatar Airways was proud to be the title sponsor of the first-ever Qatar Airways Chicago Beach Polo Cup, a world-class tournament that brings the sport of polo back to the Windy City. Over the course of the incredible three-day event, co-ed teams representing six countries competed in a thunderous competition, with the Royal Wales Polo Team being crowned the first Cup champion. Hundreds of Chicago-area fans enjoyed the unique event at a custom-built beach polo arena, temporarily set up along Chicago’s North Beach Avenue.
“As a global airline, our passion is to bring the world together,” said Qatar Airways Vice President for the Americas, Günter Saurwein. “This weekend, we are proud to return this truly international game to the city of Chicago, but polo is more than just a sport. It has become a symbol of matchless dedication, effortless finesse and the pursuit of excellence; values which we share with our guests on every Qatar Airways flight.”
As the title sponsor, Qatar Airways was at the heart of the event, both on and off the polo grounds. Throughout the weekend, the airline hosted VIP guests at the luxurious Qatar Airways Lounge. Prior to each day’s matches, team captains met at the Lounge to shake hands with a Qatar Airways representative, who was then given the honor of throwing out the first match ball of the day. Qatar Airways Country Manager, USA, Richard Oliver kick started proceedings on the first two days of the tournament, while Mr. Saurwein inaugurated the final day of competition and presented the champion’s cup to the winners on Sunday evening.
Qatar Airways also hosted a popular activation booth, where guests could learn more about the airline and enter into a much-anticipated grand prize drawing. Qatar Airways’ Business Class was recently named “World’s Best” at the 2016 Skytrax Awards. To celebrate, two lucky winners received round-trip tickets to the destination of their choice, from any of the airline’s over 150 global gateways.
Many of Chicago’s most influential luminaries and government officials were in attendance, including representatives from Chicago City Hall, the British Counsel General and the Argentina Counsel General.
Gustavo Bilbao, Chicago Beach Polo Founder and professional player, also praised the successful event. “Growing up in Argentina, I used to hear about the US Polo Open taking place in Chicago. Polo and Qatar Airways both offer an exceptional and aspirational lifestyle experience. Together, we have brought entertainment and excitement to the city and put Chicago back on the polo map, where it belongs.”