An important building block was laid on May 23rd in St Imier, Switzerland at the headquarters of Longines, with an official signing ceremony to confirm the Swiss watchmaker’s commitment to the Longines League of Nations, a fresh start for the century old equestrian team series that will see a full makeover starting in 2024.
Longines, who became the FEI’s first Top Partner in 2012 and will be Title Sponsor for the Longines League of Nations, has been directly involved throughout the FEI’s 6-month consultation phase with a dedicated Task Force including all the key equestrian stakeholders, which was set up to review and redefine the iconic Nations Cup series.
“Longines is thrilled to announce its partnership as the Title Sponsor of the Longines League of Nations,” said Matthias Breschan, CEO of Longines.
“This collaboration marks another milestone in our longstanding relationship with the FEI, and we are honoured to continue our support as the Top Partner since 2012.
“We are excited about the future of the series and the impact it will have on the equestrian world. Through this partnership, we aim to provide a platform for athletes to showcase their skills on a global stage. Longines is proud to be a part of this incredible journey.
“The brand has a long-lasting commitment in equestrian sports, not only as partner, but also as a service provider. Guaranteeing the quality and reliability of the timekeeping is a key aspect of our partnership with the FEI. We are dedicated to promoting the values of elegance, tradition and performance, which are deeply ingrained in both our brand and the equestrian community.”
Hailed a “game-changer” at the final Task Force meeting in March, the Longines League of Nations features a unified and global format, where the top ten nations compete at five top venues in order to qualify for a Final where the best eight teams go head-to-head to be crowned the Longines League of Nations Champion!
Enhanced prize money and financial incentives for organisers, athletes and national federations, as well as a raft of other opportunities, including the FEI’s extensive commitments and services are outlined in the Bid Guide which was launched on May 22nd. As per the bidding timeline, potential host venues now have five working weeks to submit their application, with selected venues to be announced mid-July.
“This is a really special day for the history of this series but also for everything that we stand for as a Federation and a community,” explained the FEI President Ingmar De Vos following the signing ceremony in St Imier.
“This relaunch would not be possible without our Top Partner and Title Sponsor for the series, Longines, and it’s been an honour and privilege to have their strong support and to work hand-in-hand with the community-led Task Force in order to redefine the series and give us the tools to create a strong product that is relevant in today’s sporting landscape and reminiscent of that national pride which has driven the greatest teams to the top for nearly 115 years.
“It has been a collaborative effort and alongside Longines, we are also really grateful to all the stakeholders that took part in the Task Force meetings, for their genuine input and desire to bring the best out of this series. Sporting excellence, quality venues and infrastructures, consistency and a unique product that can attract the best riders and engage fans around the world are the themes that have driven our discussions, and this is what we are set to deliver with the Longines League of Nations Series.”