Sport

Courts, JFF ink $12-m W'Cup deal

Sanjay Myers

Friday, January 18, 2013    

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COURTS Jamaica Limited yesterday announced a three-year sponsorship package worth $12 million with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) that will help the Reggae Boyz in their 2014 World Cup qualification campaign in Brazil.

JFF president captain Horace Burrell, who said the package was a mixture of cash and goods and services, declined to give specifics on the deal, but welcomed Courts' renewed sponsorship.

"We at the JFF are grateful to Courts," he said. "Seeing Courts make this bold step is a true indication of the corporate citizens that they are. The Jamaica Football Federation has not taken this sponsorship for granted."

The furniture and appliance giants first partnered with the Reggae Boyz during the qualifying rounds of the 1998 showpiece in France.

The current deal, which kicked off last October, involves repair and restoration work as well as furnishing the Players' Residence in Norbrook, St Andrew.

Courts, which recently reopened a state-of-the-art outlet on Constant Spring Road, also provided office furnishing for the UWI Mona-located JFF Technical Centre meeting room.

Managing director of Courts, Dennis Harris, said the deal with the JFF brings pride as well as marketing and advertising value to his company.

"This is something that we are proud to do and proud to continue doing, having done so for many many years. It's a partnership that started before our great success in the 1998 World Cup programme... (and) we've been with the JFF during the up-time and the down-time," Harris said.

He said "sponsorship is key", while highlighting football's role in nation-building and economic growth and his company's desire to see a positive turnover on its investment.

Meanwhile, Burrell announced that the national Under-20 men's team, which will compete in CONCACAF Qualifying in Mexico next month, will get the chance to prepare in that country two weeks in advance.

The move, which will be facilitated by the Mexican Government, will allow the team free accommodation and provide practice matches ahead of the tournament.

Asked about the possibility of replacing recently sacked technical director Walter Gama, Burrell said the focus is on the opening final round World Cup qualifying match against Mexico at the Azteca Stadium.

"A new technical director at this time is not a priority. Coach (Theodore) Whitmore and his assistant (Alfredo Montesso) will have to shoulder the responsibility. We need to focus on starting well against Mexico," he said.

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