Few things are more popular than football. It is played in virtually every corner of the world and almost nothing equals people like running after the ball. On the contrary, any watch born in the cradle of Swiss gold is exclusive, expensive and for the few. So why is a brand with these characteristics associated with the Argentine football team? There is an undeniable marketing decision, but also a special bond that Hublot’s CEO has with the country, Riccardo Guadalupe.
“Who am I a fan of? Diego Armando Maradona”, Answers Guadalupe, son of Spaniards and born in Switzerland. Years ago, the brand he represents put a watch on every wrist of Maradona. “I was lucky enough to see him play, I’m contemporary and I’ve had to deal with him on several occasions”, he admits in perfect Spanish and definitely interested in talking about Diego as well as not forgetting to mention the limited series of the model exclusively dedicated to Argentina. .
“Before I go I want to go to his grave”, admitted the manager, who inadvertently mentions the roots of a Swiss brand, blue and white. Maradona’s omnipresence is nothing new. The proximity to the World Cup brings out memories … in any language.
– What motivated advertising in football, which represents the popular, for a brand that does not intend to leave exclusivity?
– With football we have begun to relaunch the brand. Ours was a small, very simple brand that worked but was small. We started thinking about how to make it known to the world. For sport, no doubt. But in sports like tennis it was impossible, it was already associated with other brands. Why is there no one in football as a luxury brand? We started with Switzerland at the 2006 World Cup and then FIFA and UEFA. If there is no Swiss watchmaker in FIFA, something is wrong …
– Is that how they got to Maradona?
– No. First it was the Swiss national team at the 2006 World Cup (Germany). Then we continued with FIFA, UEFA and their personalities and that’s how Maradona came along. For me it was a dream come true. As a young man I was a fan of Maradona, I saw him win in Mexico and never thought I’d meet him. I’ve seen his entire career. I met him in Russia, many years before the World Cup, in a charity action: there was a pierced arch through which the ball had to pass. Each hit meant a sum of money and if the ball passed through the smaller holes, it was a larger sum. You don’t have to guess where he was aiming … To the little ones and he took them all from the first shot.
The watches combine ceramic, rubber and sapphire crystal, with anti-reflective treatment. It costs six thousand dollars and there are only 100 in the world with the exclusive design of Argentina. Whoever closes it on the wrist will receive the VAR notification at the same time as the referee. During the World Cup, he will offer all the information on the matches in real time. Since Tuesday the brand has joined the sponsors of the selection.
Like Argentina, Mexico has its own edition, Japan another and Qatar completes the brand’s list of incunabula. Kylian Mbappé, has its own line. Beyond exclusivity, every minute that runs in the world championship will be associated with the watch brand.
– Mexico and Argentina will face each other in the group area, does the brand somehow lose or draw?
– Normally we don’t do countries or clubs, that’s why. But we made exceptions. As a sponsor of the World Cup, we always win and are all matches until the final. In clubs or national teams you can also lose or draw … it’s true.
– Is this World Cup “time for Messi”?
– For him it will be the last World Cup he will play. He played in the 2014 final and I think he deserves to win the World Cup (in Qatar). His club career is full of successes. He also deserves it with the selection. To win the World Cup you also have to be lucky. And this selection is good. Not only Messi. There is (Ángel) Di María, for example, the defense is excellent. But in this Cup there is no favorite like other times.
– Mbappé has an exclusive E Messi watch, right?
– At some point we tried sponsorship with him. I have a Barcelona shirt signed by him. I knew his father, but not him.
– Do you think this World Cup will know him?
– It’s not the same desire as Maradona. For me, Maradona was the best match in the world of football and life. Maradona is very interesting, with its ups and downs. Everyone has a shadow of him.