By Stefan Fabien, Attorney-at-Law, Port of Spain, Trinidad
Sponsorship has been described by one commentator as “an investment in cash or in kind activity, in return for access to the exploitable commercial potential associated with that activity”. Sponsors can attain legitimacy and maximise the “natural cultural fit,” by infusing their messages and brands with “emotion, acceptance and authenticity,” and tie into a long historical association with sport.
The right natural cultural fit with consumers improves brand awareness and provides a positive return on sponsorship investments, with the sentiment of love of sport, spawning a stable, strong and enduring connection that binds people together.
Having recently announced that it would sponsor the upcoming Hero Caribbean Premier League (Hero CPL) T20 cricket tournament for the next three years, the Trinidad and Tobago headquartered Carib Brewery (Carib) will be seeking to tap into this natural cultural fit in cricketer lovers throughout the Caribbean region, which is synonymous with the game of cricket.
As the Carib Chief Executive Officer explained at the recent announcement of this sponsorship at the Queens Park Oval, Trinidad: “Carib has been at the forefront of supporting local, regional, cultural, sporting, charitable and social activities, throughout the diaspora. Carib beer and cricket are firmly rooted in the way of life of our people.”
The Chief Executive Officer of the Hero CPL also referred to the mutual strong core values of both entities, such as leadership, accountability and going the extra mile!
Carib will be the official beer of the tournament and its marketing and sponsorship team is set to host a number of fan-centred tail-gating parties and events, seeking to tie into that cultural fit and capitalise upon that brand awareness and loyalty
Carib is no stranger to the sponsorship of sport, sporting events and cricket, in particular, with its long-standing presence as having naming rights to a spectator stand in the Queens Park Oval.
The flagship beer recently underwent a rebranding campaign, together with a shift from the tag line, ‘A beer is a Carib’, to ‘Real beer is Carib’. Its alignment with the exciting T-20 CPL— which started in 2013 and attracts a viewing audience of over 149 million fans— augurs well for the sponsor and sponsored relationship.
The Caribbean region, as a whole, is viewed as a tourist destination, offering ubiquitous ‘sun, rum and fun’, and sponsors such as Carib benefit from the regulation of alcohol advertising/sponsorship in sport in being largely self-regulatory; left to be internally policed by non-profit association comprising related stakeholders. This is in stark contrast to the restrictions that obtain in many parts of Europe and, more particularly, in France.
It remains to be seen, of course, whether cash-strapped sports governing bodies lobby for the relaxation of such fetters, in order to tap into lucrative sponsorship monies. The antipodeans have long been ahead of the game in Europe in that respect. By way of example, Cricket Australia also recently unveiled ‘Lion’ as its new official beer and cider partner for international cricket, in a four-year deal set to run until 2021— Carlton & United Breweries having previously been the official beer and cricket sponsor for Australian Cricket since 1996!
Stefan Fabien can be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’