TELECOMS giant LIME Jamaica says it is reaping a windfall from the success of Jamaican athletes at the London Olympic Games in August, boasting more than 100,000 new subscribers in less than 100 days, a first in its history.
"It has been fantastic. We did brand surveys coming out of the Olympics because we were the broadcast sponsors and the major sponsors of Jamaica's athletics programme. The brand surveys have shown nothing but positives, so it has been wonderful for us," Chairman of LIME Jamaica Chris Dehring told the Jamaica Observer prior to the start of the prime minister's welcome reception for the athletes at Jamaica House on Sunday.
"Certainly, our financial results in terms of the number of subscribers that came on board during that period is unprecedented in our history. We must have taken on over 100,000 new subscribers in less than a hundred days, which included the period of the Olympics," Dehring said.
"All of that has to do with the fact that we also launched the lowest rate in history, coupled with our celebration and sponsorship of Jamaica 50 as the only telecoms company that has been around for more than 50 years," he added.
The Olympic Games, he said, could not have happened at a better time. "With Jamaica celebrating 50 years of Independence, and our athletes dominating the event, we are very happy with where we are right now; it was a perfect storm for us," Dehring told the Observer.
In the meantime, he said the telecoms company will be continuing its sponsorship of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, individual athletes as well as current brand ambassadors.
LIME, he said, might also have some surprises for customers shortly.
"Hopefully, soon there will be some announcements as to new sponsorships and new brand ambassadors," he said.
Meanwhile, Shelly-Ann Harris — senior communications manager at rival telecoms provider Digicel — said the entity is now "looking at options for how it can sponsor a grass roots programme" for athletes, which it could be announcing soon.
"Right now, there is a football and cricket grass roots programme. We haven't ventured into swimming yet, but what we are really trying to do is work on a grass roots programme similar to the one we have for football and cricket, we are looking at options," she told the Observer.
In the meanwhile, she said, Digicel continues to support Jamaican athletes.
"We re-signed a contract with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce for another couple years, so our support for sport continues for Jamaica and the region. We have been supporting Shelly-Ann since 2008 and Usain [Bolt] since 2004. We are long-standing supporters for them and we supported the Olympics. We see the partnership continuing in the future," Harris said, adding that Digicel will continue to look for avenues to diversify its support outside of track and field.
"There are other things in the mix (I wouldn't say it's athletics (alone) and that takes us to our new brand promise 'Be Extraordinary'. It is a celebration of Jamaican achievement, both in their personal life and as a nation, and so supporting our athletes is a natural synergy, a natural thing to do," she pointed out.