By LeVaughn Flynn, Staff Reporter
Mark McKenzie (left), managing director of Red Stripe, toasts Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Crenston Boxhill after the signing of a major sponsorship contract between the beer company and the JFF at the Chinese Benevolent Association, yesterday. - Junior Dowie
On the same day that football's governing body FIFA announced the dates for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) made a major announcement of its own: a $100 million sponsorship deal with Red Stripe over the next three years.
The sponsorship, which was announced at the Chinese Benevolent Association yesterday, is the second of its kind following a similar deal for the failed 'Journey to Germany' campaign in which Jamaica were knocked out in the penultimate round.
The 2010 World Cup in South Africa will be held from June 11 - July 11. The Red Stripe deal - which will see the JFF receiving the full allotment of $100m if they qualify for the World Cup and a fraction depending on how far they go in the qualifiers - should help their preparations in ensuring they are one of the 32 teams in Africa.
"The sponsorship is a major boost for the federation and the national programme and comes at the perfect time," said JFF president Crenston Boxhill.
During the 2006 campaign, the JFF earned $50m of the deal.
Red Stripe's sponsorship is expected to cover the costs of participating in international friendlies and hosting camps.
National player Fabian Davis, who was one of several Reggae Boyz at yesterday's launch, said he sees the sponsorship benefiting the local players.
"The more sponsorship the better because then we wont have a financial problem getting the local players prepared," said Davis.
"With the sponsorship you can have a local team in camp preparing for practice games and tournaments coming up so we are grateful and thankful for this sponsorship."
Red Stripes colourful and vibrant launch was infused with the company's new theme 'Live Red'. So how do the Reggae Boyz fit into the company's new campaign?
"Our theme is all about doing things with pride and passion and with intensity and we believe those are things the Reggae Boyz will most definitely need for them to make it to 2010 in South Africa," said Wayne Lawrence, Red Stripe's, marketing director.