Watch brands have to work harder in 2012


Music, sport and a new charity will keep Laurie Milne busy this year.

By Laurie Milne

Despite the difficult times we face, brands are working harder than ever to deliver stand-out results for each and every one of their stockists across the globe.

It’s been a mixed time for me over the past 12 months. We had an emotional and difficult event in Las Vegas at the last Indy race where TW Steel ambassador Dario Franchitti secured his fourth Indy championship but lost his friend Dan Wheldon, another Great British Indy driver. But then happier times came in December when Kelly Rowland was announced as TW Steel’s latest ambassador, heralding its intent to move further into music and entertainment, especially in the US.

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Raymond Weil has also started to build its media noise too, with an impressive archive of musical marketing heritage. Its build up to the Brits 2012 in February has already begun as it promotes its association as the official watch to event.

Brand relationships are also being developed with top music acts Tinie Tempah, Wretch 32, Labrinth and many more.

But it’s not just about the music, so let’s bring it back to sports for a minute. In 2012 another of my brands Hugo Boss has great plans for a very special activity in golf which will further enhance its sports sponsorship alongside its support of British yachtsman Alex Thomson, who is currently racing around the world in Hugo Boss II (Hugo Boss I being somewhere at the bottom of the Antarctic ocean, where Alex nearly also lost his life).

Watch marketing is often intertwined with sports, but as Alex’s experience shows, these can often be risky pastimes. With this in mind I launched a major charity in the US in November called that encourages people with injuries and disabilities to get back into sports. It works by linking adaptive groups with local jewellery retailers across the United States and encourages them to hold events for these groups and make heroes together.

For those who still want to pursue danger and excitement, you should check out the Round Britain race in 2012 just before the Olympics. I have just found them a private investment bank sponsor and they are now looking for a watch timing partner. More can be seen at

And here’s to a safe and happy new year to you all, whatever you may be doing in 2012.


Tags : britscharitylaurie milnemusicRaymond WeilTW Steelwatch brands
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