A major challenge for a major event Hublot revolutionizes the referee boards for the 2014 World Cup
A team's fate is sometimes decided in the additional minutes of stoppage time played at the end of a match, and the substitution of a player can be enough to transform the outcome of an entire game. During the soccer World Cup the duration of these crucial moments will be displayed on referee boards that have been re-designed by Hublot.
Very high requirements
Any brand that is known for its capacity for innovation owes it to itself to constantly find ways of bringing something new to the events of which it is an official partner. This is precisely what Hublot had done in its partnership with FIFA, soccer's international ruling body, by creating for the 2014 World Cup a new referee board in the shape of a watch. For the first time in its history, FIFA has agreed to change the format of its referee boards to adapt them to the brand requirements of one of its partners. This historic first clearly shows the relationship of trust that has built up over the years between Hublot and the world of soccer, a universe where we were the very first brand to invest and engage in a meaningful commitment. Going beyond the institutional challenge and the question of changing deeply ingrained habits, revolutionizing an aspect of the game as formal and symbolic as the referee board is in itself a technical gamble requiring the kind of in-depth research that only a brand of our stature is capable of taking on. Showing the very same dedication and high standards that it puts into designing a new watch, Hublot threw itself into in-depth research work and a painstaking product development process to create these innovative new referee boards.
A weighty subject
FIFA's Referees' Committee had placed the bar very high. The very precise specifications and numerous requirements stipulated left no room for guesswork. The device's size, weight, method of operation and practical characteristics were all the subject of ultra-precise physical parameters that necessitated rigorous research and testing both in the brand's own laboratories and on the premises of a number of its suppliers.
The first aluminum prototypes, for example, weighed nearly 7 kg (15 lb), while Hublot technical designers eventually succeeded in creating thermoformed boards weighing under 4 kg (or less than 9 lb). Their packaging and transportation also required the manufacturing of special cases, while their use was subjected to numerous trials and tests in order to qualify for official approval by FIFA and its Referees' Committee. In the end no fewer than 30 referee boards were produced and delivered to Rio by Hublot in time for the 2014 World Cup.
Rather than representing a desire on the part of our brand to be in the public eye, Hublot's new referee boards express a total commitment to the world of soccer. Hublot has provided support to this most universal of sports in terms not only of the teams and the great international competitions but also of its impact on the everyday lives of millions of human beings who share its values and passions. On the occasion of this World Cup, Hublot has also contributed to the construction of a new football ground in one of Rio's largest favelas. Hublot loves football! Today this simple sentence, which epitomizes the positive spirit that Hublot wishes to place at the heart of its commitment, will come to mind every time a referee raises his referee board to signal the substitution of a player, or the duration of the stoppage time remaining to be played at the end of yet another legendary sporting encounter.