Mon | Oct 26, 2020

Premier League courting new sponsors

Published:Friday | September 25, 2020 | 12:12 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
WHITE
WHITE
Sergeni Frankson (right) of Molynes FC challenges Rondee Smith of Portmore United during a Red Stripe Premier League match at the Constant Spring Field on Sunday, December 8, 2019.
Sergeni Frankson (right) of Molynes FC challenges Rondee Smith of Portmore United during a Red Stripe Premier League match at the Constant Spring Field on Sunday, December 8, 2019.
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Professional Football Jamaica (PFJ) Commercial Committee Chairman Donovan White says talks to cement a substantial deal with potential sponsors for the upcoming Premier League season are going well.

But though things are going favourably, he does not expect to wrap up the arrangements for another few weeks.

“We are deep in dialogue now with a number of commercial partners, including last year’s title sponsor, Red Stripe,” White said. “Those discussions, I am unable to disclose where we are with them at this stage because they are confidential. But suffice to say that we believe they have been going really well, and the responses have been positive to the changes we have proposed. We are hoping that over the next couple of weeks, we will meet again and come to some level of finalisation.

“We, as a group, are extremely proud of the work that we have done over the last five and a half to six months. It got us to where we are now with a new product and outlook, with the Professional Football Jamaica entity, and we are extremely upbeat about the changes we have proposed in terms of how we will commercialise professional football in Jamaica via the Premier League.”

The Gleaner understands, from a reliable source, that the PFJ is in discussion with last season’s sponsor, Red Stripe, whose three-year sponsorship finished at the end of the season; the Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League; and a foreign investor. Although White was only willing to confirm talks with Red Stripe, he promised that whatever deal they strike will make a significant difference in how the Jamaican football product is viewed going forward.

“We have had to look at the overall requirements to make the season that has been proposed work, and it is on that basis that we have put those proposals forward,” White said. “We still have several meetings to conclude, so a good timeline to give a better indication, maybe two weeks from now.

“But we believe that it is going to be a real centrepiece for the audience of football for the league, based on how we have designed the restructuring and presentation. We will also earn some new fans, and we are looking to deliver the product over television and digital media, and from that perspective, we are really upbeat,” he said.

The five-man committee, which also comprises Cavalier General Manager Chad Cunningham, Arnett Gardens General Manager Peter Thelwell, UWI FC Chairman Jason McKenzie, and Harbour View General Manager Clyde Jureidini, was appointed in June to negotiate commercial deals on behalf of the PFJ, which replaced the Premier League Clubs Association, which governed the operations of the local Premier League for 13 years.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com