Grobon Masters EEM Domain

By September 28, 2015
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Fabien Grobon, who ran the 2014 WEG in Normandy, is now Managing Director of EEM.

Fabien Grobon hits the ground running as Managing Director of EEM, where his first month on the job includes staging the Longines Masters Los Angeles, October 1-4 at the L.A. Convention Center.  The Paris-based Grobon is no stranger to outsized sports events; he joins EEM after five  years heading up the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, where he spearheaded what was arguably the biggest equestrian extravaganza to hit the world stage: the 2014 WEG in Normandy, France.

As part of the Longines Grand Slam triptych, the L.A. Masters, now in its second year, has established itself as part of a tradition that represents world-class sport with European flair. Grobon’s experience — which includes 10 years running the French Open tennis tournament (formally known as Roland-Garros Paris)  is expected to help EEM “pursue our ambition to bring the concept of the Longines Masters to the front of the international stage,” said EEM Founder and CEO Christophe Ameeuw.

In his new position, Grobon manages the EEM team and will continue to consolidate the development of the Longines Masters series, now on three continents and recognized as among the most prestigious showjumping competitions worldwide, and at the very pinnacle in the smaller universe of indoor jumper events. Ameeuw remains EEW’s chief executive, continuing to divide his time between the equestrian events franchise and his Belgium-based Ecuries d’Ecaussinnes sport horse facility, operating since 1997.

Ameeuw produced his first showjumping event in 2004, when he partnered with the Pessoa family to take over Jumping Des Bruxelles, also known as the Audi Masters, which ran in Belgium through 2010. In 2009 EEM trained its beam on the City of Light, launching the Gucci Paris Masters, a December event at the Paris Nord Villepinte, followed by the Longines Masters Hong Kong in 2013, which takes place each February, at the AsiaWorld-Expo center.

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EEM Founder and CEO Christophe Ameeuw

In December 2014, the FEI officially recognized the three EEM Masters events as a 5* series, and in June, Longines signed on as the series sponsor, with all three events taking on its imprimatur (and a Gucci Gold Cup grand prix added to the schedule of five 5* classes that comprise each leg). Each Masters offers a collective $1 million in prize money, culminating in the $450,000 Longines Grand Prix.  Riders who win the Longines Masters Grands Prix at three consecutive events will be awarded a $1 million Masters Grand Slam Bonus.

Riders who win two in a row receive $500,000 and for two non-successive victories a $250,000 bonus reward awaits.Some 30,000 spectators are expected to fill the L.A. Convention Center for the four-day event. Longines Masters programming is collectively broadcast in more than 120 countries, reaching almost 550 million viewers worldwide, prompting EEM to pronounce them “the most televised show jumping events in the world.” Last year, EEM relocated Matthieu Gheysen from Europe to Los Angeles, where he is event director, to help curate the Masters profile stateside.

A 2000 graduate from Insead, Fabien Grobon joined consulting firm AT Kearney as Senior Associate, and then turned his attention to the sports business. From 2001 to 2010, he held the positions of General Manager of Marketing and Licensing and then Managing Director of Sponsorship within the French tennis federation and the French Open.

Grobon, who has said his favorite movie is “Field of Dreams,” in part because he identifies with the quote “If you build it, they will come,” would clearly like to see those numbers double (U.S. Open tennis had 1.2 million viewers in 2015). But it’s a great start.  He is also an avowed Larry David fan, which points to a promising future guiding the Masters domain.

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Fabien Grobon, Managing Director of EEM, pictured at the 2014 World Equestrian Games.

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