Flow pours more into Champions Cup
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Several high-profile match-ups and the announcement of increased prize monies highlighted yesterday's launch and draw of the 2011 Flow Champions Cup knock-out football competition, at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) secretariat in New Kingston.
Communications company Flow, now in the last of its three-year agreement to sponsor the island's premier knock-out competition, announced a 20 per cent increase in prize money, with $1 million now on offer for the winner, compared to the $800,000 that defending champions Boys' Town pocketed last year.
"I am very proud to announce that this year the purse for the Flow Champions Cup's winning team is now $1 million, up from $800,000 last season and $600,000 in 2009," announced Flow's director of marketing, Sharon Roper.
Additionally, this year's runners-up will pocket $400,000, while each of the two semi-final losers will receive $200,000 and each quarter-final loser will walk away with $90,000.
Twenty-six teams, including all 12 Premier League teams and 14 parish champions, will contest this year's staging, which will be contested over five rounds from March 9 to May 8.
However, the top six Premier League teams, as of December 31, have received a bye and will bow into action in the second round, scheduled for March 23 and 24.
Fans will not have to wait until then for the excitement as the opening round promises some interesting contests.
Vintage clubs Santos and Reno will face off on March 9 at the Bell-Chung Oval, the same day that will see Arnett Gardens hosting Seba at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex. Eagle Strikers and St Georges will also meet in a Portland derby, in what promises to be another keenly contested encounter.
"One of my first tasks back in 2009 was to announce a new partnership with SportsMax, the JFF and Flow to help revitalise this significant football competition," said Roper.
"This competition was designed to highlight the best of Jamaica's footballing talent," she added. "We have successfully elevated the Flow Champions Cup where it now represents some of the best football on the island."
Roper also pointed out her company's intention to extend their sponsorship of the competition, as well as their initiative with SportsMax - who will be managing the event - to donate $4,000 to the 'YUTE Programme' for every goal that is scored in regulation time during the competition.
Voltaren, Red Stripe and Locker Room Sports were also highlighted as sponsors of the competition.
First-Round fixtures (home teams named first)
Port Morant All Stars vs Montpelier
Arnett Gardens vs Seba
Santos vs Reno
Eagle Strikers vs St Georges
Newell United vs Sandals Whitehouse
Holland United vs Humble Lion
Frazer's Whip vs Star Cosmos
Monymusk vs Village United
Benfica vs Police National
Downs FC vs Standfast