AHEAD of the 2024 Olympics in Paris, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Christoper Samuda says the $80-million long-term agreement with beverage giants Red Stripe will significantly boost the sporting industry on the island.
The sponsorship, valued at $16 million a year for the next five years, was announced on Tuesday at Red Stripe’s headquarters on Spanish Town Road. The agreement will cover several expenses including travel, accommodation and preparation for major championships, including the Olympics.
Samuda told the Jamaica Observer that the multimillion-dollar investment will further enhance sporting development in Jamaica.
“This is a partnership which we think will augur well for our member associations as well as our athletes. The investment is critical in sport. The investment in infrastructure, in our athletes, coaches and administrators, those form the rubric of sport development and, therefore, this partnership that we have established with Red Stripe will serve to deliver on those primary objectives,” he said.
“It’s a partnership that not only covers assistance in terms of our athletes and coaches but there’s an education component, a business component, and a marketing component because those are three critical elements that, of course, underpin sport development. An administrator has to know finance, has to know marketing — and the athletes and coaches likewise. The various activations under this partnership will serve to be holistic in terms of optimising the talent of our athletes as well optimising the competence and expertise of our administrators and coaches,” Samuda added.
Brand manager of Red Stripe Nathan Nelms stressed the significance of partnering with the JOA to enhance Jamaica’s achievements in sports on an international level.
“We think of it as something that we’re giving back to Jamaican athletes and the development of athletes in Jamaica so it’s a real partnership with the JOA to deliver on that. Even though the dollar figure is not something we’re highlighting too much, it really is important because it takes cash to care. We’ve seen the plight of many of our athletes in terms of being able to get the right equipment, fulfil their training obligations, the travel and so on so we know this cash will help JOA in their mandate to fulfil to the athletes in what they really need to be their best and shine on the global stage,” he said.
“There’s nothing like seeing our consumers with a beer in hand, cheering on our athletes. That’s what we really want to see; we want to be that voice on the ground that really cheers on our team to achieve the greatest gold medal tally that they can in the next Olympics and beyond,” he added.
Nelms also revealed that an islandwide tour is being planned to increase the excitement level of Jamaica’s involvement in Paris 2024.
“The road to the Olympics actually starts from here straight into January. We have a lot of things coming up that will take us all across Jamaica to have what we call mini Olympic villages to get consumers on the ground excited about what is to come. It will culminate in the summer when we’re going to have very big watch parties so persons can enjoy the Olympic games; we’re going to have promotions where persons can win TVs and so on to enjoy the Olympics. We’re also sending consumers to the Olympic Games when they purchase our products for a chance to win to go to Paris. But apart from that, we’re also having several activations where we will take the sports on a roadshow where persons can win prizes and have fun, keep active, healthy, and just enjoy and build a vibe for Jamaica’s Olympic Team,” he said.
In addition, Red Stripe will have a special label competition which will see consumers being invited to create and post a design for a limited edition can which will be on display at the Olympic Village in Paris next July.