Hublot’s connection to European football — AKA soccer — has been well-documented, from its partnerships with iconic clubs like Manchester United and Bayern Munich, to its launching of watches commemorating the FIFA World Cup. This week, however, the brand scored a marketing coup in the world of American football, becoming the official timekeeping partner of the NFL’s New York Giants, and launching a limited-edition watch dedicated to the team nicknamed “Big Blue.”
Hublot made the announcement at a “Luxury Tailgate” event in New York City, hosted by Hublot American brand manager Jean-François Sberro and featuring a very special guest of honor, Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who modeled one of the new limited-edition watches and engaged in a Q&A about football and watches with former Giants backup quarterback and ESPN TV personality Jesse Palmer.
Guests enjoyed catered hors d’oeuvres from Danny Meyer’s Blue Smoke barbecue restaurant; Moët Champagne, craft beers, and Hennessy cocktails; and a live performance by New York DJ Paul Sevigny, all the while treated to a view of the iconic Empire State Building and a towering, neon-lit marquee of the brand’s “Hublot Loves Football” tagline, which has in most cases been used in conjunction with its soccer partnerships. (As Sberro reminded the crowd in his opening address, however, Hublot has already made inroads in NFL football, having entered into a similar collaboration with the Dallas Cowboys — the Giants’ NFC East rivals — in 2014.)
Hublot’s partnership with the Giants will include game day presence, team media, custom events and hospitality, and Giants lifestyle content. MetLife Stadium, the team’s home field, will air a “Hublot Countdown to Kickoff” video feature as the Giants prepare to take the field, and Hublot will sponsor all Giants’ coach’s timeouts during home games.
The watch unveiled at the event, the Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion Limited New York Edition, is a limited edition of 50 pieces total — 40 in titanium cases, priced at $17,800, and 10 in Hublot’s proprietary King Gold cases, $37,200. According to the company, Cruz is a “co-designer” of the model, which is distinguished by its dial’s blue highlights (on the hands, subdials, and applied, lacquered hour indices) and red-tipped central seconds hand, echoing the New York Giants’ uniform colors. The Giants-blue calfskin/rubber strap has the “pigskin pebbled” motif of an official NFL football. The watches’ 45-mm cases contain Hublot’s automatic, skeletonized Caliber HUB1150, with an integrated chronograph function — the same movement used in Hublot’s limited-edition watch devoted to soccer legend Pelé. Each model is packaged in a full-size, authentic New York Giants helmet signed by Cruz. Both references of the Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion Limited New York Edition will initially be available for purchase solely at Hublot’s New York boutiques on Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue in Manhattan.
Hublot is truly a past-master in creating hypes and those hypes help Hublot to greatly increase its sales.