First-Ever High-Goal Polo League Formed

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With eight teams playing in its inaugural season, the formation of the North American Polo League (NAPL) was launched on April 1, 2007. The first-of-its-kind High-Goal Polo League was formed by business leaders and polo visionaries John Goodman and Summerfield "Skeeter" Johnston. At the helm as commissioner of the newly-formed league is Polo Hall of Famer, Charles Smith.

Business leaders and polo visionaries John Goodman and Summerfield "Skeeter" K. Johnston formally announced today the formation of the North American Polo League (NAPL), an organized, year-round League to oversee the premier level of competitive, high goal polo. The League is a first for the sport and marks an historic development for the game of Polo.

International Polo Club founder Goodman (team owner of Isla Carroll) and Johnston (Skeeterville), two champion polo players, created the League primarily to organize and showcase the premier level of high goal polo - the fastest, most fiercely competitive and physically demanding level of the sport. The League will consist of the best players in the world competing for the most prestigious events in North America.

Goodman and Johnston have assembled a top-notch, management team with over 100 years of collective senior level, industry-related experience, including its leader, USPA Hall of Fame Inductee Charles Smith, as Executive Director; Jimmy Newman, Director of Operations; and Kevin Carlon, Director of Sales and Marketing to make their vision a reality.

"In cooperation with the United States Polo Association, the National Governing Body for the sport of polo, the NAPL will identify and join together the most dedicated team owners with the best polo talent anywhere," notes Smith. "In doing so, we will ensure an unparalleled professional level of play and overall enhanced quality of the sport."

Jack L. Shelton, Chairman of the United States Polo Association endorses formation of the League and said, "On behalf of the United States Polo Association, we welcome the arrival of the North American Polo League. Over the past year, the United States Polo Association has been in close contact with the founders and organizers of this newly formed professional polo League. We all feel that this polo League will further enhance, promote and market the game of polo; and, it will augment, in a complimentary way, similar efforts made on behalf of the sport by the United States Polo Association. Good luck to the participating polo players and their ponies, now and in the future."

The leadership team of Goodman, Johnston and Smith created a long term, multi phase business plan to mainstream the sport of high goal polo to the American public. After creating this plan, the founders sought team owners from across the country that share this future vision of the sport and join to compete in the League.

Six other polo leaders in the sport immediately showed their support for the concept by joining the League. In addition to John Goodman (Isla Carroll ) Skeeter Johnston (Skeeterville), the six other polo visionaries who have invested into the League include Gillian Johnston (Bendabout), Neil Hirsch ( Black Watch), Beverly Rawlings (Crab Orchard), Camilo Bautista (Las Monjitas), Victor Vargas (Lechuza Caracas), and Greg Goodman (Mt. Brilliant).

To maintain the standings of the teams, the League instilled a points system. Similar to the NASCAR model, year end points leaders will earn the title of champion. As the League develops, a regular tour will be created with competitive prize money awarded to event winners in addition to the overall League champions. Each year, the season begins in May and culminates in April with the Stanford US Open presented by Bombardier. To launch the premier high goal League, the NAPL is offering $100,000 winner's purse to its member teams if one wins the prestigious 103rd Stanford US Open presented by Bombardier.

Other sites for League tournaments for the Inaugural 2007 - 2008 full season are being selected from currently established polo clubs across the country that host high goal events. Locations in Florida, Kentucky, and Wyoming have already been approved with other sites for the fall portion of the season in negotiation for consideration.
The NAPL will be introducing campaigns that will attract additional team owners, the existing polo community, the media, local sports government agencies, key community associations, the general public, and corporate sponsors.

The League seeks to maintain the tradition of polo but also further develop the sport and introduce it to a larger base of fans through the increased exposure of an expanded playing schedule of established teams, players and horses, by scheduling the games on national television, developing national sponsorships, and creating merchandising opportunities, all of which are expected to assist in generating revenues for League team owners.

For more information about the NAPL, contact Kevin Carlon, Sales and Marketing Director at 561.296.9659.

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