Today, we begin to profile companies that have been nominated for the prestigious 2012 Gleaner Honour Award. Supreme Ventures Ltd has been nominated in the category of sports.
Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
There is no question that Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) is a clear winner, evident in the plethora of other winners whom the gaming company has produced in a variety of sporting disciplines.
SVL stands out conspicuously by its stellar contributions to the advancements in sporting arenas and its multimillion-dollar injections into a range of activities.
It is partly for this reason that so many Jamaicans have gravitated to the operations of SVL since its principals - Paul Hoo, Ian Levy and the late Peter Stewart - ushered the gaming firm into existence in 1995.
The company, which began lottery operations on June 25, 2001, diversified its portfolio into other areas of the gaming industry, including video-gaming lounges and sports betting.
The horizons were broadened on January 1, 2007 when a new company, Supreme Ventures Lotteries Limited, emerged to accommodate the licences for all the lottery game brands and SVL grew from strength to strength. And in doing so, it made its presence felt in the public domain.
The principals of Supreme Ventures, which is being recognised and acknowledged for its contribution to sports, are justly proud.
So what propels SVL to make such significant contributions to the advancement of the range of sports and several personalities?
Sonia Davidson, SVL's vice-president for group corporate communications, says that the company has prided itself on the business of gaming and entertainment.
"Many of our players are sports-oriented fans and, as such, utilising sponsorship opportunities in the area of sports has worked as a significant marketing tool to reach and integrate this pool of potential players," declared Davidson.
That apart, Davidson asserts that SVL's foray into sports betting in 2010, saw that business opening up a new arena of activities for the company.
"We also recognise, as a good corporate citizen, that the development of youth through sports is a tried and proven vehicle of building a solid nation," she explained.
Davidson notes that, among those benefiting from SVL's assistance over the past 11 years is an accumulative $12-billion contribution to the CHASE Fund, established by the Government to assist projects in the areas of culture, health, arts, sports and early-childhood education.
She notes as well that a significant portion of Supreme Ventures' corporate public relations budget has been allotted to support sporting events/coverage such as the JAAA National Junior & Senior Championships and the Courtney Walsh Cricket Clinics & Camps for kids under 15 years of age.
SVL has pumped much funds into the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) Sunshine Series, JNA Division A and C Leagues, Racing at Caymanas Park, National Premier League, Racketeers Badminton Tournament, The Gleaner's Daegu to London project, CVM's coverage of the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 London Olympics, and SportsMax's coverage of the 2010-11 English Premier League, among others.
"The company also engaged in a historic raffle earlier this year that was executed though the lottery terminal system to raise funds for support of the Jamaica Olympic Association's (JOA) needs with respect to the team for the London 2012 Olympic Games," Davidson pointed out.
The SVL VP notes that her company has also been a major sponsor of several initiatives over the years, including the Reggae Boyz Road to France and Germany campaigns, the JFF Reggae Boyz team bus, and the Jamaica 50 celebrations which included the Olympic athletes' homecoming function in October 2012.
"Supreme Ventures remains committed to working with national sporting events and associations and has renewed its partnerships with the JAAA/JNA and NPL for 2013," she emphasised.
She was also quick to promise that SVL would continue to be a good corporate citizen while giving its support to projects/events that have a significant impact on the Jamaican economy and people.
"We are very happy with the role that we have played as a young company which started our operation in June 2001, as several persons have been impacted whether through our products or by the various projects and activities that we are involved in," enthused Davidson.
"We are especially proud of our partnership with track and field and the immense joy to many Jamaicans on the performance of Jamaica's athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games, as a result of our input and support to the JAAA and JOA," she added.
Davidson made it clear that SVL's vision in the days, months and years ahead is to continue to focus on its core competence of gaming.
"Through this, we are able to support sporting initiatives; expand our operations to meet the needs of our customers, and remain a profitable entity through to 2026 - the expiration of our current licence," she stressed.
It was on January 11, 2001 that a licence was granted by the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission to SVL to promote and conduct three specific lottery games under strict rules and regulations established by the commission.
The licence granted by the commission was valid for 10 years. SVL has since received an extension of its licence to the year 2026.
The company began operations on June 25, 2001 with two out of the three lottery games - 'Cash Pot' and 'Lucky5' - that it was licensed to offer. The third game, Dollaz!, was launched on January 20, 2003.
During its relatively short tenure, SVL has earned the enviable reputation of being one of the leading and more dynamic companies in Jamaica with its well-recognised brand icon being the treasure chest.
SVL acquired 100 per cent of the shareholdings in the Jamaica Lottery Company in December 2003, thus gaining a larger foothold in the gaming industry, with lottery sales for the financial year 2007 exceeding $16.9 billion.
SLV has about 450 persons directly employed, and more than 900 lottery terminals islandwide, with seven lottery games. SVL was granted a licence to operate in January 2001.
The operating licence for the company will expire in 2026. SVL has contributed $12 billion to the CHASE Fund over 11 years.