Fri | Nov 22, 2019

JAAA supports new IAAF marketing proposal

Published:Thursday | October 17, 2019 | 12:14 AMDaniel Wheeler/Gleaner Writer

Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Secretary General Garth Gayle believes that the proposed changes to the World Athletics (IAAF) marketing and advertising policy present an opportunity for both the association and the athletes to benefit.

The new changes, which were discussed at the IAAF Council Meeting at the recently concluded World Championships in Doha, Qatar, seek to pave the way for more companies to be involved in the branding of athletes and the sport.

The proposal, which was developed in collaboration with communication partner Dentsu, specifically involves branding on clothing, which includes increasing the number of logos; their size and the placement of them, giving greater flexibility and opportunity in respect of member federations and their national sponsors’ logos appearing on kits; having an approvals process for all kits before use at a World Athletics Series (WAS) event, giving greater flexibility and opportunity in respect of athletes and their personal sponsors’ logos appearing on kits at non-WAS events; and increasing the flexibility in respect of shoes, other apparel, and accessories.

SPORTS ATTRACTIVENESS

Gayle said that if these proposals are approved in November at the World Athletics Council Meeting in Monaco, it would provide an avenue to increase the sport’s attractiveness for companies to get more involved with member associations, with Jamaica, specifically, standing to benefit.

“The IAAF has been embarking on several initiatives to improve the sport of athletics. And in so doing, they have been working with various stakeholders to see how they can bring about inclusiveness as well as attractiveness to the sport,” he said during an interview with The Gleaner. “The JAAA stands ready to give support to these initiatives because it’s a win-win for the IAAF and for Jamaica athletics.”

Uniform sponsorship is far from a new trend in sports, with companies paying larger fees for their brand to be displayed on team jerseys. It is now the modus operandi in football, and the NBA has followed suit recently in allowing brands to be featured on their jerseys. Gayle also sees an opportunity for Jamaican athletes to benefit as they would be able to have multiple opportunities to be supported by various companies in their professional careers

EARNING POTENTIAL

“We also seek to ensure and try to do our best to have our local athletes have the earning power because athletics is a sport that requires a great deal of funds for the athletes to prepare,” he said. “You are talking about nutrition, training, [medical], equipment that they would also need to maintain that high-quality performance. So the more funding and the more opportunities for an athlete to earn and compete in the region and at home, it’s fantastic.”

Gayle also stated that there is an opportunity for local engagement among fans for high-calibre athletics in Jamaica.

“While we boast a great cavalry of athletes across the spectrum of track and field as you can see from our recent success in Doha, it would also add to the attractiveness for our local fans to be able to see high-quality track and field in Jamaica. That is something that the JAAA is wholeheartedly behind, and we are very happy for this infusion and assistance from the IAAF,” he said.