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The University team (UWI FC), along with their more established counterparts Harbour View FC, were the recipients of $2- million sponsorship deals with Lucozade Ribena Suntory for the remainder of the 2016/17 season of the nation’s top-flight competition.

Details of the deal, which is a combination of cash, Lucozade beverages and other products under the brand, were outlined at an interactive Media Lyme at Cari-Med Limited’s Lady Musgrave Road offices on Wednesday.

While Harbour View FC shares an almost decade-long relationship with the brand, UWI FC is the proverbial new kid on the block in the coveted fraternity of Lucozade-sponsored teams.

Dalton Myers, president of UWI FC, welcomed the support.

“This is great for us and it is one of the best news that we could ever get in terms of how we started the season. Running a Premier League team is not very easy and this purse will go a far way,” Myers told the Jamaica Observer.

“I think this will help with not just the cash, but certainly the kind in terms of re-energising and rehydrating the players, because you need all of that to have the players performing at their best. So this for us right now is very significant and a bold move by Lucozade, but one that represents what we also want in terms of a partner who will help us to move forward with our programme even though this is our second year in the league,” he added.

For Clyde Jureidini, general manager of Harbour View, it is another step in the right direction for his club to capitalise on and build a successful legacy with their numerous partners. He alluded to the significance of such partnerships to their development programmes, which hosts Under-9, Under-13, Under-17 and Under-21 teams.

“This is valuable because we have a principle of starting from small relationships and trying to build them gradually overtime and this is one of the four or five successful stories that we have had with sponsors.

“Around the same time, we got into a partnership with GraceKennedy and Purity and we have continued those partnerships and initially with Courts now with Lucky Dollar. Thankfully, much like Lucozade Sports, we have continued growing and hope to continue doing that and move both entities to a larger scale for them to be profitable and for us to be successful locally and internationally,” Jureidini explained.

Harbour View FC, a four-time winner of the league, finished sixth last year, while UWI FC, after a rugged start on debut, recovered well to finish fifth after an impressive run, which resulted in them just missing out on a semi-final spot.

The Lucozade Energy team will be on location at the home games of both clubs throughout the season with samplings and giveaways, among other excitement.

Keenan Henry, area marketing manager, Caribbean Pacific Territories of Lucozade Ribena Suntory, explained that their mandate is etched on the “growth of sport at the community level, not only for the development of individual sportsmen, but for the development of the community”.

“It is a privilege to continue our support of local football, but, more importantly, football at a community level. We are firm believers of uniting communities through their love and passion of sport.

“When we have strong community sport, it eventually builds sport at the national level. And as we know, when success is attained at the national level, it is then we see unity as a nation. So although teams here may be rivals on the field, the ultimate goal would be to see the success of Jamaican football,” said Henry.

Using the Japanese Suntory Beverage Holdings mantra “Yatte Minahare”, which means ‘Go for it’, Henry urged both clubs to “Go for success; Go for goals; Go for fair play; but most importantly, go and enjoy the great game of football”.

Meanwhile, Jodi-Ann Wright, junior brand manager, English Caribbean for Lucozade Ribena Suntory in lending her voice to the proceeding, said that the partnerships were a no-brainer.

“Both teams have exemplified qualities in the way they have conducted themselves in getting to the top and we want to be a part of that. Lucozade Sport and Lucozade Energy drinks are a great fit with these teams as both are synonymous with winning,” Wright noted.

Source: The Jamaica Observer

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