Mike Fennell, chair of the Local Organizing Committee for Carifta Games (LOC), says the delay in finalizing the company’s partners is due to broadcast requirements that have yet to be determined.
Fennell was speaking at the press conference last Thursday marking the start of the 100-day countdown to the start of the 2022 competition, which will take place at the National Stadium from April 16-18. The briefing was attended by Mike Sands, President of North America and the Caribbean (NACAC), as well as a majority of representatives from the 27 participating national bodies.
In an interview with The Gleaner In December, Jamaica Athletics Administrative Treasurer Ludlow Watts said they were looking to finalize sponsorship arrangements with potential partners by last month, in order to fund the $150 million budget needed to implement the event.
However, while Fennell says that while there is a lot of interest from the corporate sector, finalizing the broadcast arrangements is one of the critical elements holding back the process for getting partnerships across the line.
“The interest is very high, but we need to translate that into details. From the corporate sector, they are asking for detailed information about what the event will look like and how it will be presented, and what the broadcast mode will be. So in a way, we are dealing with a chicken-and-egg situation,” Fennell said.
Jamaica got paid to host the Games last November after Guyana withdrew due to complications from COVID-19. Watts noted that they want at least $360,000 ($56.02 million) from the private sector as a foundation to cover expenses.
While these broadcast arrangements have yet to be agreed upon, Fennell stated that they expect financial assistance from the government to offset some of the costs, as well as finalizing details with Puma.
Our government has committed. They haven’t specified an amount, but we know they will help; And we had a commitment from equipment sponsor Puma. They were excellent patrons and immediately joined in; And we are improving their offer, which will include both cash and equipment for the volunteers and officials who will be working on the Games,” Fennell said.
With the issue of fan attendance still being determined, sports marketing consultant Tania Lee Perkins said the ability to secure acceptable digital and television deals would be key to an event of this scale in the region. In addition, she is optimistic about the ability of the local organizing committee to secure the necessary support from the private sector.
“Carifta has developed a strong brand as the leading event in track and field for young athletes across the Caribbean. They should be able to get sponsorships, but the digital and TV component will be crucial, knowing that it is unlikely,” Perkins told me. To have spectators this year.”
Sports Minister Olivia Grange, who attended the briefing, said they would not rule out the presence of fans at the games, despite the recent spike in COVID-19 cases on the island.
When addressing the status of the broadcast proposals, Fennell said they had not received any comments by their agreed deadlines last month. Still, he hopes they’ll have the proposals by this week.