Blake signs endorsement deal with Wata

BY DANIA BOGLE Observer staff reporter

Thursday, December 08, 2011

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WORLD 100-metres champion Yohan Blake yesterday signed a multimillion-dollar three-year endorsement deal with manufacturing and distributing company Wisynco Group Limited, through its Wata brand bottled water.


The agreement will include a television and print advertising campaign and will involve the athlete promoting the Wata brand at next year's Olympic Games in London, England.


The sponsorship is the first contract signed with an individual athlete at this level for the company and will see Blake receiving additional incentives for breaking records or winning medals.


"We have done a tremendous amount of work over the years to build the brand to be number one in the country and I think Yohan represents the youthfulness, the excitement for the brand, and will hopefully, as we bring the Olympics to Jamaican consumers this summer, Yohan will be running with Wata behind him and he will be there as brand ambassador," managing director of Wisynco Group Limited, William Mahfood, told the Observer.


"We're promoting Jamaica, promoting the young athletes and at the same time, hopefully, bringing home the gold. We're very excited," he added.


Blake had an impressive year in which he became the youngest 100m world champion, the fastest man over 200m this year and the second fastest man over the distance in history after posting 19.26 seconds at the Diamond League meeting in Belgium.


He later won the IAAF Performance of the Year award for this feat at the World Athletics Gala in Monaco.


"While it's a huge investment... it's more strengthening the fact that local businesses and local brands can participate on an international scene with endorsing our athletes," Mahfood argued.


Blake, in the meantime, was pleased with the sealing of the deal.


"It's a wonderful contract. I've been toiling hard for this moment and it's a dream come true for me," the athlete told the Observer.


The youthful Blake was especially pleased that his recently-launched children's charity, YB Afraid Foundation, would also benefit from the deal.


"I want to give back because I've been receiving. I know I'm young, but I also want the kids know that I'm 21 and not because you're young, you also can make something of your life and take them out of domestic violence and give them a better life," he said.


"It will also help him to improve his overall image," Mahfood added.


"One of the things we want to do is bring him to that level where people view him to be an international superstar that he really is."



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