Sport

UEFA Champions League Trophy unveiled

BY SHERDON COWAN Observer staff reporter cowans@jamaicaobsever.com

Tuesday, March 21, 2017    

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The excitement is already building as the prestigious UEFA Champions League (UCL) Trophy has hit the Caribbean, and in particular Jamaica’s shores for the first time in its history and was officially unveiled at the Red Stripe Oval on Spanish Town Road yesterday.

This historic UCL trophy tour is a fan-powered event hosted by Heineken through their “Champion the Match campaign”, which will give fans the rare opportunity to interact with the highly coveted silverware.

The current trophy which is 74 cm high and weighs 11kg or 24.2lbs is the sixth in a series of replacements and has been in use since 2006, after Liverpool won their fifth European Cup in 2005. The original design was permanently awarded to Real Madrid in March 1967.

It is being accompanied by a team of UCL officials and former Manchester United player and UCL ambassador Ruud van Nistelrooy.Heineken is set to deliver an exciting schedule of activities during the four-day tour, including a football workshop hosted by Van Nistelrooy tomorrow.


Yesterday’s unveiling was the official start of the tour which will continue today at what is expected to be a full-scale entertainment at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston starting event at 6:00 pm.

Following tomorrow’s workshop, the trophy tour will then make its way to Margaritaville in Ocho Rios and Fyah Side in Clarendon, before closing with a grand send-off party at Pier One in Montego Bay on Thursday.

After departing Jamaica, the trophy will make stops in Panama, Colombia, Egypt, India and Vietnam.

Blandine JnPaul-Reid , Heineken’s head of Marketing and Innovation, was beaming with pride about bringing a vision to life.

“Back in June I went to this event that Heineken does and one of the guys said that Jamaica would be a good country for the trophy tour, it’s the best country. And literally that quick conversation led to the decision to make this happen.

“When I thought about it, we do a lot with the (Red Stripe) Premier League which we love, but we also have huge international football fans here in Jamaica and obviously the European league is a big deal. So we wanted to make Jamaica experience something new and different,” JnPaul-Reid told the Jamaica Observer.

She continued: “This is a proud moment because we have the first Reggae icon in Bob Marley, we have the first beer in the Caribbean in Red Stripe, and then you have first time the UEFA Cup comes to the Caribbean and it is here in Jamaica.

“There is nothing better than that. What is great about it more than anything else is that Jamaica gets to experience it because we are doing this for the fans and that is what is really important. It is not just about us and JFF (Jamaica Football Federation), it is about the fans.”

With the fans being an important part of their campaign, Heineken is offering a “Star-Night” promotion which allows seven consumers, with guests, the opportunity to win an all-expense paid trip to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

Tracey McKoy, Jerome Elliott and Michael Chang are among the early winners announced at the unveiling.

“I expect that every single event is going to be packed; fans can come out and be excited and drink Heineken and be merry and then when we are watching the games together we will have this moment to remember – the moment that we saw the trophy,” JnPaul-Reid noted.“Ruud is going to be doing skills challenges at the Indoor Centre tomorrow (today) and we have a bunch of teams that have signed up. So there are going to be competitions that people can not only see the trophy but play football and that is going to be huge.

“The other events are going to be about signing autographs; getting into the Heineken spirit and really enjoying themselves and capturing the moment before the quarter-finals of the Champions League,” she ended.

Floyd Green, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, and vice-president of the JFF Bruce Gaynor also lent their voices to the proceedings.

Fans can get more information on the trophy tour and chances to win UEFA-themed prizes at http://m.championsquad.digicelmore.mobi/.

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