With its progressive thinking and it’s more nuanced approached to whisky enjoyment, the premium scotch whisky brand, Johnnie Walker introduces us to South Africa’s first ever Whisky Meets Polo Masterclass in association with the Nedbank International Polo. Johnnie Walker hosted acclaimed guests at this inaugural masterclass on Friday the 13th of September 2019 at the prestigious Inanda Polo Club. It was no surprise when one of the world’s most premium whisky brands coupled with the Sport of Kings to put together this affluent experience.
The event commenenced with a welcome address by Diageo SA, Head of PR, Events and Influencers, Lesedi Mashale, who sparked the interest in the room when she announced the start of a long Johnnie Walker partnership with the Nedbank International Polo this year. Lesedi said “ The 2019 partnership is the beginning of a long partnership which will continue to build the whisky meets polo narrative. As a brand, Johnnie Walker is all about disrupting, challenging the status quo and pushing boundaries. When we conceptualized this idea, it was pretty clear to us as a brand that we needed to come up with a concept that not only compliments our involvement in the Nedbank International Polo but also shares the whisky experience in conjunction with the sport of polo, something that has never been done before.”
Guests were ready to saddle up and enjoy an afternoon filled with horseback riding, polo lessons and of course whisky at the end of the day’s proceedings. Johnnie Walker took guests on a journey beyond the ordinary with this masterclass, as the brand believes in pushing boundaries and self-disrupting – the masterclass was nothing short of moments that exuded that. The polo masterclass was spearheaded by the Polo Manager of the Inanda Polo Club, Craig James, who gave guests an engaging polo tutorial and broke down the rules of the game as excitement built up for the main event. Craig shares “It was great to have the opportunity to share core aspects of the polo game with regular polo attendees. This granted us the perfect platform to delve into exactly what happens during the build-up of a polo match, during the match and of course shed light on other key aspects that go unnoticed on the day of a big polo game.”
It is at the brands core that it engages with consumers who are energised by the pursuit of the finer things in life and Johnnie Walker’s affiliation with the Sport of Kings is nothing short of exactly that. An afternoon of education, polo playing and whisky tasting set the tone for the official Nedbank International Polo. Thandeka Motsoha, Senior Brand Manager, concludes ‘Whenever we get the opportunity to align our brand with events there are a few key things we take into consideration, it is important to us that the event audience speaks to our brand target market, we always need to ensure that the Johnnie Walker brand doesn’t get lost in the hype of it all and more importantly how can we push boundaries and disrupt the norm with our brand presence. The Whisky Meets Polo Masterclass ticks all those boxes and more.’
After a day of swinging mallets on the field, a friendly game of foot polo and of course the infamous divot stomping, one of the longest-standing and most important traditions in the Sport of Kings, the event ends in an opulent whisky tasting session where our affluent guests had the opportunity to enjoy bespoke taste notes of the Johnnie Walker product mix.