Cedric Stewart, who takes over as the new chief executive officer of Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) today, plans to hit the ground running by addressing the cash-flow problems at the promoting company.
Stewart, who replaces Franz Jobson who resigned from the post on December 31, said there is an urgent need for the company to seek non-racing income.
"This should come in the form of slot machines at Caymanas Park, entertainment activities like live shows and concerts, as well as the introduction of souvenir gift shops at the track, among other things," he said.
Another area to be urgently addressed is the securing of increased corporate sponsorship for some of the major races on the calendar (Derby, Superstakes), which has been lacking in recent years.
"A total of 799 races were run last year and only 38 of these received sponsorship, mainly from Supreme Ventures Limited," he noted.
"If we can double that number in the next 12 months, the cash-flow problems could be addressed to a large extent," added Stewart, who disclosed that a new marketing manager is in place and the company is looking to appoint an events manager and promotional personnel.
Stewart also sees the need for the CTL racing office to write more competitive and better races for each programme in an effort to increase wagering at the track and OTBs islandwide.
"If every race is profitable, the raceday will be profitable," he was quick to add.
With the divestment of the government-owned Caymanas Park on the agenda, Stewart said his intention as CEO is to prepare the track for a smooth transition if and when divestment comes.
The new marketing manager is David Hobson, whose appointment took effect on Monday, February 18. Hobson has vast experience in marketing, having held senior posts at Wray & Nephew and Pepsi.
Stewart, a trained economist, is closely associated with racing as an owner. He was educated at St Elizabeth Technical, University of Technology and Kiev University in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Speaking on behalf of CTL, board member Andrew Azar disclosed that eight persons were interviewed for the post of CEO, but Stewart, given his qualification and connection with racing, was seen as the most ideal.