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CARIBBEAN - cricket

DIGICEL SIGNS DEAL


Web Posted - Tue Jul 06 2004
By Dorian Bryan


DIGICEL will replace Cable & Wireless as the sponsor of the West Indies cricket team, with a lucrative five-year deal which takes effect after the West Indies’ tour of Australia in January 2005.

This announcement ends weeks of speculation following Cable & Wireless’ statement that it will sponsor the team in the 2007 World Cup, but will not, however, be renewing its official sponsorship.

The deal with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) was signed by Digicel Chairman, Mr. Denis O’Brien, at a ceremony in London yesterday which was attended by president of the WICB, Teddy Griffith and West Indies Team captain, Brian Lara. The event followed the announcement of the eight venues chosen to host matches in the ICCCWC 2007 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in London.

The new agreement makes Digicel the official sponsor of the West Indies Test and ODI (One Day International) teams, event sponsors for the home Test and ODI series, and the official mobile and communications provider of the WICB. Digicel’s new sponsorship deal will help the company promote its mobile business across the Caribbean.

The agreement is designed to promote improved performances of the West Indies team at home and away. It is the first agreement which sponsors the team in the Caribbean and on overseas tour and incorporates unprecedented incentives to raise players’ performances.

The deal also places an additional US$1 million into the game’s development through Digicel’s sponsorship of select junior teams. Digicel will be sponsoring the Under-13, Under-15 and Under-17 teams as part of the largest agreement ever done with the West Indian cricket board.

President of the WICB, Teddy Griffith was optimistic about the agreement. “Our partnership with Digicel represents a new era for the sponsorship of West Indies cricket. Digicel’s dynamic, innovative, forward-thinking attitude, which has transformed the telecommunications market in the Caribbean in under three years, will no doubt have the same impact on West Indies cricket. Change is inevitable and we look forward to a long and rewarding partnership with Digicel,” Griffith stated.

Chairman of Digicel Group, Denis O’Brien stated that the agreement would serve to strengthen Digicel’s commitment to the development of West Indies cricket. “Digicel takes enormous pride in becoming the official main sponsor of the West Indies Cricket team. As the number one Caribbean mobile telecommunications provider, we are committed to further strengthening our involvement in communities throughout the Caribbean.

“We believe in the future of the Caribbean and its cricket. Our intention is to enable West Indies Cricket to get back to the top of world Test cricket and to succeed in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007,” he said, adding that Digicel was delighted to make available the substantial sponsorship package and hoped it would add new energy to the sport through incentives and youth programmes. “This will encourage more great performances and foster future cricket legends,” he said.

“Digicel will also be looking at ways to make the game more interactive using our technology and an even more enjoyable experience for the millions of West Indies fans. We are excited about the future of cricket in the Caribbean,” O’Brien stated, noting that Digicel’s sponsorship will help enable West Indian cricket regain their dominance of the sport.

Digicel also sponsors the Digicel Caribbean Football Union Cup, which officially begins in October 2004.

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