Mon | Sep 24, 2018

JISA's competitions 'an easy sell' for Tastee

Published:Sunday | October 15, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Ryan Foster, CEO of Tastee Limited.

The Tastee-sponsored Jamaica Independent Schools Sports Association (JISA) National Under-12 football league kicked off yesterday with five matches, all at the Liberty Academy campus.

Ahead of yesterday's kick-off, the chief executive officer of Tastee Limited, Ryan Foster, noted that brand alignment and brand equity were both key to their commitment, which covers all of JISA's sporting competitions. These include netball, which is also due to start soon, as well as track and field.

Noting Tastee's long-time philanthropic drive through its once popular Talent Show, which went for 32 years, Foster noted that when JISA approached them for sponsorship nearly five years ago, "it was an easy sell".

Foster said: "This was a very good way to expand our corporate philanthropic initiatives to meet the demands of students.

"I felt it necessary to expand our reach to the population that supports us the most, which is schoolchildren. They consume the most of our patties on a day-to-day basis, so I saw it as a partnership between Tastee, which is a family-owned business, and schoolchildren, who are part of the family structure and setting."

He continued: "I'm also big on youth development, and I saw it best to get that youth development vision through sport development in the form of sponsorship of these events."

Foster represented Lannaman's Prep and Wolmer's Boys at football and track and field in the past and describes himself as "a lover of sports", who "had a dream to help prep school sports from I was a student at that level".


Mental aspect


He pointed out: "I see sports development in not only the physical aspect, but the mental aspect as well. It builds character, it builds competitiveness, it builds honesty. Discipline, honesty, and competitiveness are good traits for developing a child beyond prep and high school."

Coming out of that, Foster said that he was inspired to introduce scholarships and cash prizes into their package as "I don't think we do enough to reward people for excellence".

That initiative has already taken root in track and field with four athletes, the top Class Two and Class Three boys and girls, given scholarships.

"I believe in rewarding excellence for what the students would have been able to achieve ... rewarding people for good work," he said. "We didn't introduce it at the Class One level because the students wouldn't be going back into the prep school arena. They would be matriculating into the high schools, so I believe that Class Two and Three would have been the best way to motivate them to come back the next year."