January 20, 2020
After a 13-year relationship gaming company Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) has withdrawn its sponsorship from the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) National Senior and Junior Track and Field Championships. President of the JAAA, Dr Warren Blake, told The Gleaner yesterday that he had been told of the decision in recent discussions with the SVL. He added that his sporting body had not been given a reason for the pulling of financial support which had run well over $30 million since 2003. The last funding arrangement was for $12 million. “It means a little hole in the budget, but I’m taking steps to try and plug that hole. It’s not going to be a major problem, but it’s going to be a little difficult, but we are still going to have the trials,” Blake said. However, Supreme Ventures Limited’s vice-president of corporate communications, Simone Clarke-Cooper, said that the decision was directly linked to Supreme Ventures’ decision to venture into horse racing. SVL recently formed a new company, Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited, which took over the operations of Caymanas Park. “This year, we have had to take the difficult decision not to sponsor the event as our main focus has become the development of our new subsidiary, Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited. The Caymanas acquisition is a significant investment for us and will need even more investment and attention as we build out the entity. We have therefore had to take a long, hard look at the events we sponsor and all our major activations, and for the time being, redirect some of those resources into this new business,” said Clarke-Cooper. “It’s not an easy decision, but a necessary one. We value deeply our relationship with the JAAA and have advised the team there that despite our inability to take on the major sponsorship this year, we are willing to help them in whatever other ways we can. We wish them all the very best with this year’s staging,” she added. The Junior and Senior Championships are qualifiers for the IAAF World Youth Championships in Nairobi, Kenya in July, and the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in London, England in August.