Q: It is clearly important to position TLC & St. Regis at the correct level in the market, and one hopes that sponsoring the St. Regis International Cup will prove to be a successful strategy. What criteria will you use to measure it success?
A: The biggest criteria was simply through being here for the event. It was clearly a great success for everyone who attended. To me, both brands present interesting challenges. Amongst our portfolio we have more than 100 of the world’s greatest hotels, yet we don’t necessarily have the visibility or brand profile of some of our competitors. Looking at St Regis, our existence is not something we necessarily want to go out there and trumpet about how fantastic we are - because our customers are not like that, our customers are much more discrete and reserved. They look on St Regis as a place of calm and refuge. So, something like our association with polo reaffirms our association with quality, and sets us in the heart of our most valued clientele.
Q: What other events of similar social stature does TLC & St. Regis support?
A: We do. For St Regis we look at what it is that inspires our customers, we look to see what their passions are, and we try to reflect those. It could be arts, it could be other sporting events. Again though, we are a small and niche brand and so we choose not to spread ourselves too widely, so for us right now polo is the main focus for us. For TLC it is perhaps even more challenging since we have a broader customer base and our aim is to pull together their range of experiences - so last year we sponsored a tennis tournament in Florida, we’re also planning to support golfing events alongside our new TLC hotel at Turnberry in Scotland, but there it will be more about the experience and less about being the headline sponsor.
Q: It appears the growth of TLC & St. Regis is centred outside of your traditional regions - for example you have nothing in Europe or the United States. Do you foresee growth re-emerging in these areas in future, and when?
A: St. Regis started in New York in 1905, and for the best part of ninety years stayed there. We grew this to a foundation of seven or eight iconic luxury hotels - some in Europe and the States, and now we’re growing the brand to give it a key global presence. It’s only natural that we’d do that outside of our home, and we’re looking at our target on a truly global scale.
To find out more about The Luxury Collection and St. Regis log on to www.stregis.com