HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein

Week 36 (24 - 30 May 2014)

HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein was the first Jordanian woman to obtain a licence to drive heavy trucks and she has carried this dare-to-be-different approach into all areas of her professional life, especially in her presidency of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).

The FEI has Princess Haya's hallmarks of independent thinking and creativity stamped all over its operations. A case in point is the innovative way in which its marketing department is promoting the World Equestrian Games, to be held in Normandy, France, from 23 August to 7 September 2014.

To mark the 100 Days To Go point to the Games, giant images of a horse's hoof prints were made in the sand on the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel. Meanwhile the FEI's wider advertising strategy has included pasting beautiful artwork on posters on the London Underground. Both initiatives produced stunning visual results.

In addition to these arresting images, the language used to promote the Games is engaging and taps into the relationship between humans and horses by evoking the concept of a travelling fair:

"COME and experience the MAGIC of a FANTASTIC TRIP through NORMAN and EQUESTRIAN history", screams the promotional poster: it certainly piques one's interest.

Furthermore, the FEI has developed a brilliant content marketing aspect to its promotion of the World Equestrian Games called "Around the world with 80 horses".

Starting in June last year, short stories (involving horses) have been published weekly on the Games website. These vignettes provide an insight into how horses have related to humans throughout history and are beautifully composed by writer, editor and horse lover Jean-Louis Gouraud, a World Equestrian Games ambassador.

The FEI's drive to be inventive in promoting its events is borne out of a desire not to rest on its laurels: another Princess Haya hallmark.

In a speech at the FEI Sports Forum last month, she declared that "we (the FEI) can never take our place on the Olympic programme for granted."

There is certainly no danger of that under her watch.

Photo: Horsetalk