La Martina: Leveraging Polo's Luxury Lifestyle
Founded in 1984 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, La Martina has grown from a high-end polo equipment company into a global fashion brand with operations in 56 countries. Polo, which is not only a sport but also a way of life, is at the core of the brand DNA. Polo is a unique sport with a long history and strong culture that the brand intends to protect, preserve, and share with as many people as possible. The world of polo has traditionally conjured up images of exclusivity, sophistication, and elegance, attracting a wealthy crowd of royals, movie stars, and successful business entrepreneurs. It has naturally developed into a suitable environment for luxury brand sponsorship, co-branding, and partnership opportunities. At the same time, polo is a "niche" sport with limited expansion opportunities. Could La Martina continue to grow within the polo world boundaries? Should La Martina diversify into other sports? What impact would a departure from its polo roots have on the brand identity and authenticity? As a global fashion retailer, La Martina was also confronted with a new set of challenges driven by changes in technology, e-commerce, social media, consumer preferences, and shopping behaviors. In 2015, in a fast-paced, globalized, and ultra-competitive environment, La Martina needed to reconsider its business model and decide on its next strategic move. This case includes the topic of luxury.