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Brand Jamaica a perfect fit for Romai Sportswear

Published:Wednesday | February 25, 2015 | 12:00 AMLeighton Levy
L - R Khamis Al Rumaithy- Founder and Chairman Romai Sportswear, Captain Horace Burrell -President JFF, Raymond Grant - General Secretary JFF, Garth Savoury - Director of Marketing JFF, Omar Massri - Managing Director Romai Sportswear

It was the strength of brand Jamaica and potential for success of the national football programme that helped the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) secure a nearly J$700 million kit sponsorship deal with Romai Sportswear.

Under the agreement which that will be formally announced at a grand launch in the coming weeks and will see the key principals of the sportswear company visiting for the occasion, Romai will outfit all national teams. The deal also has a strong merchandising component which will make the Jamaican kit available for sale to fans and supporters worldwide.

Omar Massri, the managing director Romai Sportswear, believes the 18 months of negotiations were worth the effort.

"The Reggae Boyz, and by extension, Brand Jamaica, has stood out in the football arena after becoming the first Caribbean team to qualify for the World Cup," he told The Gleaner.

"In addition to that, brand Jamaica in and of itself has earned its place in households across the world. With that said, we saw it most fitting to align our brand with an already affluent brand. In the same breath, after doing our research on the nation's teams, we saw copious amounts of potential for success as it relates to the teams' victories. We then decided to make an attempt and we were successful."

The JFF's director of marketing, Garth-Anthony Savoury, said Romai pursued Jamaica aggressively after seeing the plans Captain Horace Burrell, the JFF president, had for Jamaica's football.

"They recognised that we have some challenges and they wanted to provide the help needed," said Savoury.

"They wanted a developing programme with a story behind it. They see the story behind Jamaica. They see success in Jamaica's future."

The deal, Massri explained, includes certain conditions included which will help to keep Jamaica on the path to success.

"There are performance-based incentives for the federation and by extension the programmes," he said.

"With a tradition of excellence at the forefront of both organisations' visions, we are committed to the development of all the programmes. We will stand shoulder to shoulder with our JFF partners and give them all the necessary support so that they arrive at the next World Cup in Russia 2018."

Romai Sportswear, founded in 2012 by Khamis Al Rumaithy, have sponsored Al Wasl club, which was trained by the legendary Diego Maradona; the UAE futsal team and Bahrain's national teams. Palestine's national teams are also in the final stages of negotiations with European clubs and other Arab teams.

positive feeling

Rumaithy, the owner and founder, also has a positive feeling about Jamaica.

"Brand Jamaica is a very excellent brand. The colours black, green and gold have become almost indigenous to Jamaica. This speaks volumes, volumes of the culture, spanning across all continents, so much so that it has reached the Middle East," he said.

"We are a new brand in the global market. We believe that the alignment of Romai Sportswear with the Jamaican teams will take the brand to the top. I am convinced that the collections that have been designed by the world-class Jamaican designer Cedella Marley has done our brand great justice, and the world will be eager and proud to sport the Jamaica and Romai-branded jerseys," he said.

"Going forward, we can only see both brands becoming more global demanded."