Sport

Word from the wise

Bernard encourages JAGA to cherish sponsors after landmark deal with Alpha Factor

BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
Observer writer

Saturday, May 25, 2019

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VETERAN sports administrator Mrs Marva Bernard has encouraged the Jamaica Amateur Gymnastics Association (JAGA) to take care of their sponsors after it was announced that the organisation had signed a two-year deal with kits sponsor Perform Group through their line, Alpha Factor.

The US-based company has been a supplier of gymnastic equipment for decades and has outfitted some of the biggest names in the sport.

Alpha Factor will be providing competition gear for Jamaica's junior and senior elite teams for the next two years, as well as training gear at a reduced cost, among other incentives.

Bernard, who was president of Netball Jamaica for 10 years, was the guest speaker at the press conference to announce the new partnership which was held at the Jamaica Olympic Association office at Cunningham Avenue on Sunday.

Speaking from personal experiences Bernard gave JAGA tips on how to ensure their sponsors could be kept happy.

“Sponsorship is the lifeblood of an organisation,” she said. “Sponsors have chosen to pump money into an organisation not because they have no other use for it, they are expecting returns on their investments, bang for buck!”

She made it clear, all the things which are mandatory when treating with their sponsors.

“You must be reachable, you must be approachable (and) you must be ready to promote the brand.

“Call the sponsors' name and thank them every opportunity you get. The media can play a part as well. Wear their logo on your clothing, when the camera focuses on your organisation, the logo of the sponsor is exposed.”

Bernard stated how the relationship should be viewed by JAGA.

“Sponsors are your family. They are to be included in everything that you are doing socially. They are to be appreciated, they are to be thanked. They are to be closely associated with everything about you, especially if they are exclusive.”

She also gave some do's and don'ts as it relates to projecting their image in public and the consequences of getting it wrong.

“Image is everything. The athletes will look fabulous in this new uniform sponsored by Perform Group, so you must protect the images, yours and that of your sponsor.

“Bad press, financial irregularities or poor administrative practices affect them. Wearing clothing of competing brands and being seen publicly or privately is not to be done. Don't think it's ok because it's not coming in the press or on TV.”

“How image affects sponsors? They pull away from products that have poor image and the contract is not renewed. How you speak, dress, and conduct yourself affects the brand.”

Bernard stated that she was confident that the partnership between JAGA and Perform Group would be a successful one, as she wished them all the best at the major championships this year as well as the Olympic Games next year.


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