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Long-term deals will soften the blows, says Samuda

Published:Saturday | April 11, 2020 | 12:18 AMDaniel Wheeler/Gleaner Writer

While Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Christopher Samuda anticipates some challenges in sponsorship opportunities post-COVID-19, he says that the current agreements in place have put the administration in a good position to operate.

Samuda made his comments at a Gleaner Editors’ Forum on Thursday. The forum focused on the impact that the virus has had on the local sporting landscape. Several events have either been cancelled or postponed islandwide in response to restrictions that have been imposed by the Government to combat the spread of the virus. Economic activity has slowed down considerably in several areas, placing a strain on many businesses. Asked about the likely difficulties the JOA may face to acquire sponsorship from companies that may be cash-strapped as a result of the COVID-19 response, Samuda said that long-term deals would help the association to withstand some of the current pressure.


“There is going to be, of course, pressure on the purse of individuals, but happily, our sponsorships are long-term,” Samuda told The G leaner. He added, however, that he expects the cost of supporting the various affiliates of the JOA, to increase and his association will, therefore, continue to be on the lookout for long-term sponsors.

Among the major events that have been affected during the current pandemic are the Tokyo Olympics, which has been pushed back to July 2021, and Samuda, in an interview with T he Gleaner on April 7 reiterated the association’s commitment to honour the financial obligations to those targeting qualification for next year’s Games.

In the midst of the financial uncertainty, Samuda also emphasised the need for sound business acumen from the various national sporting bodies, and he said that the JOA is prepared to lead the charge in this area. Additionally, he said that it is important to be unified in assessing and combating the current challenges.

“I have always said that your business plans have to be in place. We have expertise in the association to assist in crafting business plans and policies that are necessary in order to give them clear directions in situations such as these,” he said.

“Yes, our associations are going to be hard hit. We understand that. We just have to work through it … . We have to diagnose clinically and ensure that the prognosis is good,” Samuda said.