There’s the ‘big time’ and, starting Tuesday night, there will be Giant Time when the New York Giants announce a partnership with the Swiss watch brand Hublot to become the Official Timekeeper of the four-time Super Bowl champions.
The Giants, who are the No. 3 most valuable team in the NFL according to Forbes, will also announce (at a barbecue tailgate party Tuesday night in Manhattan) that Hublot will produce new luxury watches inspired by the team. Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz—he of post-touchdown Salsa fame—will join with Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe to reinforce the “Hublot loves Football” message.
“Our strategy in the U.S., where soccer is, unfortunately, not a big sport, is to turn to football,” says Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot CEO, noting the partnership that the brand already has with the Dallas Cowboys, the NFL’s most valuable franchise and the Giants’ NFC East rival. “We can’t work with all the teams so you have to choose, and you want the best when you do that. The Giants are the perfect team because they are iconic and so is New York City. It all makes great sense.”
According to Guadalupe, the contract with the Giants is a multi-year renewable partnership. Discussions have been in the works for well over a year. While he wouldn’t comment on the exact costs surrounding the deal, Guadalupe did note that it is “not in the millions of dollars.”
The 29-year 0ld Cruz is known for his sense of style and is considered one of the best-dressed players in the NFL. “Cruz really loves, understands and lives fashion, so having him in on the development of the watch makes great sense,” says Mike Stevens, CMO of the Giants. “The watch is beautiful; it is reflective of us and of our city. It is a combination of elegance and toughness – much like football and our team.”
Stevens added that the Giants have an entire marketing strategy surround the watch that includes implementing a Hublot One-Hour Countdown to Kickoff, and a Hublot Coach’s Time Out moment.
“Our new stadium has more than 2,000 HD TVs, and 40-foot-tall by 20-foot wide high definition screens that wrap around the stadium, and we plan use them to highlight the relationship during the hour before the game,” says Stevens.
He also added that the Giants will feature three-foot-tall cutouts of the watch dials in the stadium and will have information about the partnership with Hublot on its Giants Lifestyle content platform.
The New York Giants watches are under wraps until Tuesday night; however, they are expected to have all the finishing touches worthy of the historic team—including a vintage-looking drawing on the caseback.
With Hublot’s partnership with the Dallas Cowboys, the brand has unveiled four separate editions of Cowboys-inspired timepieces—all of which, despite price tags of more than $30,000 for a gold version, have sold out.
And for those keeping score at home, NFL franchises comprise 27 of the 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams of 2016 according to Forbes. Other teams in the Top 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams are the Los Angeles Lakers (No. 10) and Chelsea soccer team (No. 36) – both of which are, or have been, Hublot partners.