THE Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) football season is set to kick off on September 7 with new title sponsor LIME, who is set to pump a stunning $150 million, over five years, in the competitions, it was announced at yesterday's press launch.
Adding to the pot in a major way was associate sponsors Wisynco, through its brand Bigga, to the tune of $45 million over three years. Burger King, too, was in a generous mood with a $4- million package for the season.
Dr Walton Small, ISSA president, welcomed the new sponsors at Terra Nova hotel yesterday, and thanked the previous sponsors Digicel, Pepsi and Restaurants of Jamaica (KFC).
"ISSA is an excellent product and that is indicative this morning by the coming on board of corporate giants in Jamaica," said Dr Small, the principal of Wolmers' Boys' School.
"We know that the economic environment is harsh, but you have taken time out to put your money in the development of young people through ISSA, and for that we are extremely grateful," he added.
Carlo Redwood, LIME's vice-president marketing, said his company is extremely proud and equally excited to be the new title sponsor of the schoolboy football programme and its associated competitions.
"It is with great pleasure and an overwhelming sense of pride that LIME formally announces our sponsorship of the 2013 ISSA schoolboy football season," said Redwood.
"LIME has a long history of supporting sports development projects in Jamaica. Most recently on our resume is our sponsorship of the St Catherine football leagues and at the grassroots level, (and) the primary school football competition," he noted.
François Chalifour, Wisynco's director of development and marketing, was on hand to present his symbolic sponsorship cheque of $45 million, saying it was a privilege.
"We have been involved with football over the years with WATA and Bigga, with grassroots football and the Reggae Boyz, but today is special, supporting high school football," said Chalifour.
Burger King's Sales and Marketing manager Sabrena McDonald said her company's involvement was spurred by some key values that have made schoolboy football at the Manning and daCosta Cup levels so successful.
"The Manning Cup and daCosta Cups are excellent picks for our brand, because at the heart of this secondary level competition is a pursuit for excellence hinged on teamwork, strategy and a commitment to quality performance," she said.
The season will kick off on Saturday, September 7, with defending all-island champion St George's College taking on Camperdown in Group D of the Manning Cup at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, starting at 3:00 pm before daCosta Cup champion Glenmuir High tackle Denbigh High in Group M action at 5:00 pm to complete the traditional double-header.
Eighty-three schools will contest the rural area daCosta Cup in 15 zones, while 42 schools are set to participate in the urban area Manning Cup in seven groups.