Sport

RSPL sponsor ups tempo for its second season

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer Senior Reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, August 31, 2012    

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TITLE sponsors Red Stripe have promised 'beer niceness' as the Premier League season set to kick off on Sunday was launched at the Jamaica Football Federation's (JFF) headquarters in New Kingston yesterday.

Fans should expect an exciting opening round, personnel changes and great consumer activities from the title sponsor who are in the second of a multi-million-dollar three-year deal.

Sean Yelle, Red Stripe's senior brand manager, touched on the some of the innovations geared at building more support for the league and getting the fans more engaged in the game

"Red stripe is here once again as title sponsor for... the Premier League and it's an important sponsorship for us, but moreso, it's about going into the communities and we know that there is little more than football that drives these communities," said Yelle.

He added: "Red Stripe firmly believes in this and that's one of the main reasons for our sponsorship. As such, we're looking forward to building a partnership like we did last year with the PLCA (Premier League Clubs Association) — much bigger, better and brighter."

Red Stripe, which introduced the Monday Night Football to great success last year, will be rolling out a "Future Starz" initiative to highlight young prospects that have the ability and drive to succeed in the RSPL.

Future Starz will be the main digital focus for this season and will be an avenue for younger players to sell themselves to Jamaica.

"While we highlighted the clubs and the communities, we will be highlighting the players more. We believe that there are a lot of stars out there and stars to be made. We believe that this is the best league in the Caribbean and will become world class by the end of the season," Yelle added.

There will also be the 'Beer Niceness' drive with community bars being transformed into hot spots filled with music and Red Stripe during Monday night games.

There will also be a Red Stripe Fan Zone at the venues and the Red Stripe Monday Football TV show will now have a social media aspect — Facebook and Twitter — where fans can join the action on their mobile phones or online. They can make posts or comments on trending topics of the show.

The very interactive season will provide fans with the opportunity to choose their favourite players for the Red Stripe All Stars Cup versus the End-of-Round champions. "Stars" will be chosen by the public by voting via Facebook, Twitter or text.

Fans will be given a list with the players names from which they will choose and text the name. The results will be sent to the media the following day.

On Sunday, defending champion Portmore United welcome new boys Savannah FC of Westmoreland at Ferdie Neita Park; promoted Cavalier FC travel to Boys' Town; Tivoli Gardens and arch-rivals Arnett Gardens meet; former champions Harbour View host Montego Bay; Waterhouse travel to Highgate and Humble Lion and Sporting Central clash in the Clarendon 'derby'.

Meanwhile, PLCA chairman Edward Sega revealed that televised Sunday evening football is very much on the cards and in fact, there could be as many as two live matches per week.

Said Seaga: "Sunday football was the most popular at the time when it was shown. Monday Night Football has taken over... I'm not concerned about which is most popular; we want to have both, so now we'll have at least two... games live, instead of one," he noted.

The former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance reiterated that the revenues for the clubs are not where they want it to be and clubs will again struggle to make ends meet.

Meanwhile the Jamaica Observer, the exclusive print partner of the PLCA, plans to also be more interactive with fans via their website, according to marketing manager Ava-Dawn Sinclair.

"This year we're planning something more exciting, extending it to our website and creating some competition with people voting for their best teams and we will give away prizes," said Sinclair.

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