$30 million needed for Champions Cup - ISSA
First vice-president of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), Keith Wellington, said the organisation is currently seeking $30 million to stage this year's Champions Cup knockout competition.
The Champions Cup, which has replaced the FLOW Super Cup competition, will see the top four rural schools going up against the top four urban-area schools.
Wellington told The Gleaner that the Champions Cup competition forms a very important part of the development of schoolboy football, and therefore, it will go ahead with or without a sponsor.
"It is a lot of money, but it is money we believe that the sponsors will get value for," said Wellington, who is the principal of St Elizabeth Technical High School.
"As it is, what we have in terms of sponsorship from our other sponsors will cover a part of the expense, but we are trying to find a sponsor who will target the Champions Cup as their competition and, therefore, will spend the bulk of the money that is expected to execute it," he said.
"We could be targeting one of our current sponsors or maybe a new sponsor will come on board," Wellington said. "I think if we do not get an additional sponsorship, then it is our intention to stage the competition by subsidising some of the cost that we are likely to incur," he said.
Digicel, has pumped $75 million over three years into the Manning Cup and Walker Cup competitions, while Wisynco is sponsoring the daCosta Cup and Ben Francis competitions to the tune of over $100 million for the same period. Broadcast sponsor SportsMax has also signed a multi-year deal with ISSA to the tune of $28 million per year, while associate sponsor KFC will be contributing $18 million.
Wellington added that like in previous years, he is expecting a very exciting Champions Cup competition this year.
"We expect this year's competition to be full of excitement, and the competitive nature that was shown over the last few years will continue to grow," Wellington said.
The Super Cup was introduced by former schoolboy football sponsor FLOW in the second year of their five-year sponsorship deal, which expired in December last year. The competition quickly grew into the a marquee product on the local football calendar, largely because of the facilities used, quality of production and execution, and the extended urban vs rural-area school dynamic.