Tue | Jan 22, 2019

Harbour View's Lawrence is Jamaica's Pepsi ambassador

Published:Sunday | January 26, 2014 | 12:00 AM
From left: Mitchell Watson, marketing manager, Pepsi Jamaica, shakes hands with a beaming Kemar Lawrence of Harbour View shortly after the player signed a promotional contract with Pepsi. Looking on are Sports Minister Natalie Neita-Headley and chairman of Harbour View, Carvel Stewart. The contract signing took place at Cuddy'z Sports Bar and Restaurant yesterday. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

Leighton Levy, Sunday Gleaner Writer

Characteristics that were ingrained in him by his grandmother may have played a big part in why Harbour View wing back Kemar Lawrence landed the biggest contract of his life so far.

The 21-year-old was unveiled as Pepsi ambassador for Jamaica last Friday at Cuddy'z Sports Bar in New Kingston.

"Pepsi Jamaica is delighted to announce that we have signed Kemar as our brand ambassador and the face of our new football campaign," Pepsi Brand Manager Carla Hollingsworth announced before a gathering that included officials from premier league leaders Harbour View Football Club including Chairman Carvel Stewart and General Manager Clyde Jureidini.

"He will share this honour with many other footballers including Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos and Robin van Persie."

As others, including retired Harbour View and Bolton Wanderers star Ricardo 'Bibi' Gardener and Edward Seaga, chairman of the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) looked on, Hollingsworth continued: "Kemar will lead a new ad campaign and his image will be used in our branding. In addition, a selection of players will also be featured on limited-edition, eye-catching packaging across the globe while additional special products and interactive digital experiences will be revealed throughout the year."

Thanks for his grandma

Lawrence thanked many people including those at his club and Pepsi for naming him ambassador, but had special thanks for his grandma Norma Seymour. "Grandma means a lot to me. I basically grew up with Grandma and still living with her," said the player who has represented Jamaica at the Under-17 and Under-20 levels and was a member of the Reggae Boyz squad during the recent World Cup campaign.

Though the honour is great, Lawrence said, he will do his best to remain grounded, lead by example and capitalise on the opportunities that this one-year deal will open him up to.

He believes the way he plays and the way he 'carries himself' helped afford him this opportunity. "People out there respect me as a young player and that is hard to find," he said. "I act like a responsible person and I think that is what Pepsi saw and is using right now."

Hollingsworth agreed. "We see that Kemar has very good potential. He is a very disciplined player. He is a very good player and he is a role model for the youth in Jamaica and he will represent our brand very well."

She said as many as five players were considered, but Lawrence stood head and shoulders above the rest.