Netball Jamaica welcomes $3-million injection in club competitions

Friday, March 15, 2019

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The road to glory just got a little easier for Jamaica's Sunshine Girls, following LASCO's announcement of its $2-million co-title sponsorship of the 2019 Major and Minor League Netball Competitions at the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) offices on Tuesday.

The sponsorship stems from their $28-million partnership with the JOA in October 2018.

“We are proud to be associated with this series which seeks to nurture our future Sunshine Girls through our flagship iCool Water brand along with iDrade isotonic beverage and Curves feminine napkins,” said Omar Palmer, consumer division marketing manager at LASCO Distributors.

“We believe that the LASCO iCool Water/Starlight Production Major and Minor League Netball Competitions will transform our talented young ladies into elite athletes and ensure that Jamaica not only takes the number one spot in the world for netball but keeps it for years to come,” he added.

LASCO previously invested $3 million as title sponsor of the Netball Jamaica 60th Anniversary 2018 Sunshine Series, featuring the Sunshine Girls, arch rivals England and Trinidad & Tobago, showing their commitment to the growth of netball in Jamaica and its continued quest to contribute to the advancement of Jamaica and its people.

LASCO's $2 million was augmented by another $1-million sponsorship pledge from Starlight Production to create an accumulated $3-million gift to the association. Noting that it is the first time the netball association has found two companies to sponsor both leagues, Netball Jamaica president, Dr Paula Daley-Morris, said the new development bodes well for the future of the sport.

“Normally, we would have one sponsor that would take on the two events,” she said. “This time, we have two sponsors coexisting and taking both leagues. So, it is really exciting times. It signals a change in the way that persons are marketing their brands and seeing sports because over the years when we had sponsors they didn't want to share the stage with anyone else. But for the sport to really grow, we have to begin to have these kinds of [arrangements] that are shared partnerships with mutual benefits,” she said.

The leagues have facilitated the development of netball over the years and have assisted Jamaica in maintaining its position of being ranked in the top five in world netball over the past 30 years.

The Sunshine Girls, currently ranked third in the world, are recent silver medal winners at the 2018 Fast5 World Series and the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and boast players who have all competed in one or both of the leagues.

“It really means a lot to have a sponsor saying to us we are not just passing through; we are here to stay. It means that the game can continue. It means that we can continue to run programmes such as the major and minor league because we know the value of those programmes and if they cease to exist the game will die,” explained Daley-Morris.

Scheduled to commence yesterday, the 10-week LASCO iCool Water Starlight Production 2019 Major and Minor League Netball Competitions will host 645 players or 43 netball teams who will compete in 203 matches.

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