Funding for all! - ISSA sponsorship to cover competitions at all age group levels this year
President of the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA), Dr Walton Small, has explained why this season's Manning and daCosta Cup competitions have separate sponsors.
Small said the body wants to include the under-14 and under-16 competitions as a part of the sponsorship package but could not find a single sponsor to finance the budget required.
As a result, Digicel will sponsor the Manning Cup at $75 million over three years, while Wisynco, through its brands Wata and Freshhh, will sponsor the daCosta Cup, at a sum just over $100 million.
SportsMax ($28 million) and KFC ($18 million), annually, will also make significant contributions to the overall sponsorship.
But Small said that to develop the sport from the grassroots, they want more attention paid to the junior programmes and this was the reason they did not have a main title sponsor for all schoolboy football competitions this season.
"When we started planning, we felt we need to pay more attention to under-14 and under-16 football. If we are developing football we have to pay attention to that," he said.
"We looked at a budget and said this is what it is going to take to include the junior programmes. But we were not able to (secure sponsors). There was a figure we ask our title sponsor but were not able to get any company to meet that target as a single sponsor. We left the possibility open, so in the next round of negotiations we will not be encumbered with the business of first right of refusal for a title sponsor, because we don't have a title sponsor," he explained.
Not having a main title sponsors gives ISSA full control over their competitions and Small believes this is a step in the right direction. "There was this concern in the public that we're commercialising the product.
"Our previous sponsor (FLOW) showed us the way. They show what it means to have a quality standard. This year all football come under the control of ISSA. We listened to criticisms and made adjustments and we have made a commitment the from the quarter-finals. We are going to try our very best to play the games at quality venues," he said.
Meanwhile, the Champions Cup is yet to receive a sponsor, but Small said that this is because ISSA is not willing to accept any sponsorship for this tournament.