8月26日,在2019中国马球未来趋势大会上,1003 POLO创始人罗斌请来了中国马球协会秘书长钟国伟、新东方教育集团董事长俞敏洪、拉卡拉创始人孙陶然、百度创始股东刘计平、利世控股集团董事长李中子等众多大佬,为的是推动马球运动在中国的发展。
At the 2019 China Polo Future Trend Conference on August 26, Paris Luo, Founder of 1003 POLO, invited several industry icons, including Zhong Guowei, General Secretary of the Chinese Equestrian Association, Michael Yu, CEO of New Oriental Education & Technology Group, Sun Taoran, Founder of Lakala, Liu Jiping, a founding shareholder of Baidu, and Li Zhongzi, CEO of Lee World Group. Her goal was to facilitate the development of polo sport in China.

创办1003 POLO这一年,罗斌除了忙,还是忙。忙着推进公司的业务,忙着带队打比赛,忙着见投资人,忙着出席各种马球公益活动。大会结束坐到艾问访谈间的第一句话就是,“晚上我还有个活动,我们抓紧。”
During the founding year of 1003 POLO, Paris Luo ran on a full schedule. She was busy pushing ahead with the company business, leading the team from match to match, meeting investors, and attending all kinds of charity events related to polo. When she finally sat down with iAsk after the conference, the first thing she said was, ”I’ve got another event coming up tonight. Let’s wrap up this quickly.”

Life is on the Horseback?

In the past, Paris Luo had carried many labels. but in recent two years, she had freed herself from all of them. As the trail-blazer for China’s new generation of women’s polo, she had founded the world’s first-ever women’s polo school, 1003 Pan-Asia Women’s Polo School(1003 Metropolitan Polo School), and serves as its headmaster. She had also founded the first university polo club in China, and led the Peking University polo team in matches against top-notch global universities like Oxford and Harvard.

In 2018, she was appointed as the China Ambassador for Women’s International Polo Network. Alongside with the princess of Brunei, the wife of the Argentine ambassador, Hollywood film stars and many other enthusiasts of the game to establish a world-leading certification system for women’s polo jointly and to propel its development around the world.

也正是在这一年,罗斌成立了1003 POLO,希望以马球为载体,传承中国马球文化,在中国普及马球这项运动的综合平台,为更多国内精英人群提供极致卓越的生活方式。
And it was in that year that Paris Luo founded 1003 POLO, which seeks to spread the culture of polo in China. With the main goals to provide an exceptional and exquisite lifestyle for the wider elite community in China.

艾问:我们应该怎么理解1003 POLO?
iAsk: How should we understand 1003 POLO?

罗斌:1003 POLO是目前中国唯一一家集结马球生活方式、马球精英教育、马球赛事组织、马球IP、马球公益等以马球为核心的产业链综合服务平台。
Paris Luo: 1003 POLO is currently China’s only comprehensive service platform which has polo at its core. It combines the polo lifestyle, polo elite education, polo competition organization, polo-related intellectual property, and polo charity all in one platform.

iAsk: For the domestic audience, polo is still rather out of reach either as a sport or as an industry. I’m curious as to why you chose this as your career.

Paris Luo: During the Oxford Cup in the UK in 2017, I led the first-ever all-Chinese polo team in history to compete. When I heard the national anthem played on the court, I teared up, and I thought: it’s polo that awoke my courage and my perseverance. I would never have thought that I could be so passionate about anything. And it was also polo that made me aware of who I truly am. The intensity of that moment went beyond anything I’d known about myself before.

然而在我的祖国——马球的发源地,当下的中国却对马球鲜有知晓。马球塑造了全新的我,我也要为马球以及中国马球倾尽我的微薄之力。那一刻成为了我人生的转折,也是我创立1003 POLO的初衷。
But in my home country, where polo originated, people in China today know very little about polo. I reinvented myself through the polo, and I’d like to also contribute as much as I can to polo and polo in China. That moment became my life’s turning point, and also became the motivation for me to found 1003 POLO.

iAsk: What’s the significance of a polo renaissance in China? Is it just about giving people one more sport to play?

Paris Luo: I hope to advocate a value system through the polo. Namely, that life is like being on horseback. You can discover a lot on horseback, including business strategizing, anxiety in the face of uncertainties, and the balance between work and life. Moreover, polo is about communication between the horse and us. Horses sense all our emotions, from happy to sad. When you are feeling confident, the horse will obey your instructions; but when that confidence is absent, the horse may begin to take advantage of you. And those that do well in polo are people with a loving heart who share an emotional bond with their horse.

iAsk: But isn’t it too hard to try to accomplish that mission through entrepreneurship? Do you regret anything?

Paris Luo: No, I have no regrets. Never. Someone else from the media also asked me yesterday the same question: if I’d ever thought about quitting. I said, no matter how hard the journey ahead, I will never give up.

A Polo Miracle?

创办1003 POLO,罗斌也得到了新东方教育集团董事长俞敏洪的鼓励。罗斌说,让自己印象最深刻的事是,“我当时写了一条很长的信息发给俞老师,他最后回了我四个字:值得一做。”
When founding 1003 POLO, Paris Luo also received encouragement from Michael Yu, CEO of New Oriental Education. Paris Luo said the thing that impressed her the most was when she ”wrote a very long message to Mr. Yu, and the only response he gave was: it’s worth a try.”

Michael Yu showed his support once again at the 2019 China Polo Future Trend Conference. He said that Paris Luo’s passion, positivity, confidence, focus and her love for life constantly inspired him. As an educator, he wished that Chinese teens could take part in the game of polo, which would help them better communicate with the world, and cultivate a stronger character.

真正冲进马球产业,1003 POLO的奔跑速度比罗斌想得快很多。今年6月,1003 POLO宣布获得超千万Pre-A轮投资,投资方为熊猫资本、考拉基金、紫辉创投。拉卡拉董事长、考拉基金创始人孙陶然说,投资1003 POLO,是给每一个梦想一个机会。
1003 POLO has charged ahead in the polo industry with a speed that has far exceeded Paris Luo’s expectation. In June this year, 1003 POLO announced a pre-A round of financing for over 10 million RMB. The investors were Panda Capital, Koala Fund and PurpleSky. CEO of Lakala and founder of Koala Fund, Sun Taoran said that investing in 1003 POLO was about giving each dream a chance.

But his investment was not a shot in the dark. As Sun sees it, polo is definitely a new lifestyle worthy of promotion around the world. At the same time, he also sees the quality and capability of Paris Luo of becoming a successful entrepreneur. ”She’s got big ambitions, a broad heart, a stubborn will, and exceptional learning and strategic abilities. So I’m certain that Paris Luo will come closer and closer to her dream.”

罗斌表示,融资将用于进一步整合全球高端马球资源、完善更适合中国人的零基础教学体系,1003 POLO作为中国马球运动、马球产业以及马球文化的领跑者和推动者,也将致力于构建马球生态圈和综合服务平台,助力马球运动在中国的发展。
Paris Luo said the funding will go into consolidating high-end polo resources worldwide and enhancing the beginner coaching system in China. As a front-runner and facilitator of polo, the polo industry and the polo culture, 1003 POLO will also stay committed to building a comprehensive service platform for the polo ecosystem, and propelling the development of polo in China.

iAsk: Do you have a clear plan for your next steps? Do you lean toward business development or cultural communication?

罗斌:二者都有。首先是在运动的推广上,我们在距北京100公里的怀来利世G9国际庄园正式成立了1003 POLO俱乐部,这是世界上第一个女子马球俱乐部,希望由此可以打开中国马球在世界的声量,吸引国际职业球手以及更多产业链上的从业者来到中国。
Paris Luo: Both. Firstly, to promote the sport itself, we have officially set up the 1003 POLO Club at the Lee World G9 International Manor in Huailai County, 100 kilometers from Beijing. This is the world’s first-ever women’s polo club. Through this, we hope to increase the presence of Chinese polo in the world and to attract international players and people in the industry to China.
同时我们已经与国际最高级别的马球俱乐部英国御林军马球俱乐部达成战略合作。御林军马球俱乐部是英国历史最为悠久的马球俱乐部,俱乐部现任主席是女王的丈夫爱丁堡公爵菲利普亲王。过去的十年间曾有很多中国的马球人寻求与御林军马球俱乐部的合作,但都没有成功,如今1003 POLO做到了,实现了从品牌到联合赛事,以及联合会员的全方位合作。我们还将招募中国创始人战队,明年6月我带队出征。
At the same time, we have launched a strategic partnership with Guards Polo Club of the UK, the world’s top polo club. Guards Polo Club is the UK’s most historical polo club. Its chairman is the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. In the past decade, many Chinese polo lovers had sought to partner with Guards Polo Club, but to no avail. And 1003 POLO did it. We achieved a full-on partnership with them from branding to joint matches and joint membership. We will also be recruiting a ”founders’ team” in China, led by me in June next year, ready to compete.

其次在商业上,1003 POLO计划2-3年做到3万个用户,同时开始招募城市合伙人,争取在3到5年内在中国建立30个马球学校,我们希望在国内能够建立起马球运动的生态圈。
Next, on the business side, 1003 POLO plans to acquire 30,000 users in 2 to 3 years, while also beginning to recruit our city partners. Our goal is to set up 30 polo schools in China within 3 to 5 years, and we hope to establish a polo ecosystem domestically.

艾问:如果把目光拉得长远一些,十年之后,你认为1003 POLO会是什么样子?罗斌在做什么?
iAsk: If we look still further beyond, in a decade, what do you think 1003 POLO will be like? What will Paris Luo be doing?

罗斌:我希望1003 POLO可以成为世界尊重的一家企业,它会成为马球界的一个奇迹。对于我个人而言,曾经有人问我说是什么样的勇气让你在中国推广马球这样一个小众的运动,我说当我认识马球、了解马球后,我明白了什么是坚韧,什么是责任,什么是使命,希望在我们这群人的努力下,马球运动可以真正在中国复兴。
Paris Luo: I hope that 1003 POLO will become a widely respected company around the world, a polo miracle. Somebody had once asked me what kind of courage enabled me to promote such a niche sport in China. I said that after I got to know polo and understand polo, I began to see what perseverance was, what responsibility was, and what it meant to carry a mission. I hope that with our efforts, the sport of polo can come to have a renaissance in China.

采访的最后,罗斌又特意跟我们强调,虽然她成立了中国第一支女子马球队,但1003 POLO是欢迎男性加入的,她希望的是大家能更喜欢马球文化,更认可马球精神。
At the end of our interview, Paris Luo took the care to emphasize to us that, despite this first-ever women’s polo team, 1003 POLO also welcomes male members. What they seek to promote is to make everybody enjoy the polo culture and identify with the polo spirit.

Just like how Paris Luo described her team: brave, independent, persistent and well-cultured—these are also qualities that we saw on this trail-blazer of Chinese women’s polo.