May 15, 2010 Sports
– Kanhai, Gardner, Fortune inks deal
By Edison Jefford
Popular Italian Sportswear Company, FILA, upon its official arrival in Guyana through official distributors, Giftland OfficeMax, was quick to snap up three of Guyana’s leading athletes for sole sponsorship as part of their tradition.
Junior National Basketball Captain, Akeem ‘The Dream’ Kanhai, national bodybuilder, Sylvan Gardner and veteran track star, Alisha Fortune were the athletes that the company selected as part of an established international tradition.
A release from the company that was distributed through Giftland, stated that FILA has been closely affiliated with the careers of international star athletes such as Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker, Monica Seles, Grant Hill and Jerry Stackhouse.
In addition, the company informed that it also currently sponsors Lawn Tennis star, Kim Clijsters. The placement of Kanhai, Gardner and Fortune among those names in terms of sponsorship arrangements is nothing short of an achievement.
“FILA mirror the values of a winning sports team: desire for success, team spirit, commitment, enthusiasm, creativity and fun,” the official release stated, adding that they committed to creating and marketing products that enhance the individual’s pursuit of sports as a way to experience greater personal fulfilment.
“Today, FILA is actively been pursuing and supporting local athletes and sports in general in the markets in which it is distributed. This is no exception in Guyana where FILA has identified three top Guyanese athletes who will be receiving support and sponsorship for an ongoing period,” the release continued.
The three athletes will benefit from sports gear, clothing, shoes, match/tournament fees and an undisclosed sum of money. Fortune will be the first to cash in on her allowance when she departs Guyana soon for an overseas-based assignment.
Asked how the initiative was initiated, marketing representative at Giftland, Compton Bobb told Kaieteur Sport that they had to facilitate a list of local athletes for the company and they made the final selection based on a range of attributes.
“We had to come up with a list of athletes and FILA selected who they wanted. We still need to finalise some other details, but they will be coming down shortly where questions would be officially directed at them,” Bobb indicated.
The release had stated that FILA marketing and sales representative could not travel to Guyana for yesterday’s press conference because the Ministry of Home Affairs were reluctant to grant them visas to enter the country.
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