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Stabroek News

Air Jamaica turns down Cricket World Cup deal
published: Tuesday | February 21, 2006

Tyrone Reid, Staff Reporter

CRICKET WORLD Cup 2007 is still searching for an official airline partner after being turned down by Air Jamaica.

O.K. Melhado, chairman of Air Jamaica, told The Gleaner that the proposal made to his company by Global Cricket Corporation (GCC), owners of the rights for the Cricket World Cup, was not enticing enough.

While mum on the exact figure, he revealed that the package cost in excess of US$1 million. Mr. Melhado told The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre yesterday that the package was carefully weighed and measured but was found wanting.

"We did not feel it was in the interest of the company to spend that kind of money to become the official airline," reasoned Mr. Melhado.

OUTSIDE OF SERVICE SCOPE

Highly-placed and reliable Gleaner sources have confirmed that airlines are being asked to fork out more than US$1 million for the short-term relationship.

Additionally, Mr. Melhado argued that some of the required routes were outside of the scope of the services offered by the national carrier.

A spokesperson from the ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2007 Inc., the exclusive sales and marketing representative for sponsorship in the Caribbean, pointed out that Global Cricket Corporation is still courting several airlines.

"We are in negotiations with more than one airline partners, when the negotiations are complete an announcement will be made," the spokesperson added.

MULTIPLE AIRLINE PARTNERS

The ICC official told The Gleaner that Air Jamaica was not the sole airline approached. The representative pointed out that all Caribbean-based carriers in addition to several airlines outside the region were approached with the offer.

The spokesperson also said the possibility exists that Cricket World Cup could have multiple airline partners. "(We are) willing to make a concession to have more than one airline partner. It can be a shared brand sector," the spokesperson revealed.

The spokesperson explained that the carrier or carriers that purchase the sponsorship would be entitled to negotiate with the ICC for any business in their brand sector.

However, this does not guarantee exclusive business for the airline, as the ICC still has the option of going the cheaper route, if one presents itself.

However, the sponsors would receive perks such as signage on the cricket grounds where the games will be played plus free tickets and other hospitalities.

"They don't necessarily get the business because they are the sponsors, they will have to compete on normal commercial terms."

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