first_imgLocker Room Sports are the new title sponsors of the KSAFA/Jackie Bell Knockout competition, which was launched at Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records yesterday. Jamaica Yellow Pages’ three-year sponsorship ended last season, and with the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) in search of a new sponsor, Locker Room stepped up to the plate. KSAFA President Stewart Stephenson said the cost of outfitting the teams had doubled from last year, and the association had difficulty obtaining the amount required. But they were able to negotiate a deal with Locker Room, who decided to bear the $680,000 difference to dress the teams for this year’s competition. “As a result of our successful negotiations with David Shirley of Locker Room Sports, the company will provide branded gear for all participating teams and, therefore, this season, the title sponsor for our competition is Locker Room Sports,” Stephenson told the gathering. Shirley admitted that “it was a tall order”, and “the numbers wouldn’t add up” at the end of the day. “When you look at your business module and cost and the projected profit, when we worked the numbers, we would be in a losing position on the deal. But in this particular case, we feel a responsibility to give back. There is an opportunity to build relationships with 34 teams and help them participate, as the young men really look forward to it, and we are just doing our little part,” he said. He added that it was also a mark of respect to Winthorpe ‘Jackie’ Bell and his family for their contribution to Jamaica’s football. “The Bells have been a cornerstone of football and our football history. He (Jackie) is truly a legend, and sometimes we have to remember the people who have opened doors for others, so it’s good to show this respect,” said Shirley. The tournament kicks off next week Saturday, November 14, with nine games. The two feature games involve a Kingston 20 rivalry between Duhaney Park and Pembroke Hall, and a Spanish Town Road derby between Greenwich Town and neighbours Whitfield Town. In other other games, Shortwood are up against Santos, Olympic play Police National, Molynes take on Cooreville, Rae Town meet New Kingston, Red Hills oppose Mountain View, Stony Hill face Constant Spring, and JDF tackle Central Kingston. The prize monies for this year’s tournament remain the same, with the champions set to take home $400,000, second place $250,000, third $150,000, and fourth $100,000. Meanwhile, there will also be an added feature to this year’s competition, as the association is said to be in negotiations with a major television station to provide live coverage from the quarter-finals through to the final. “We are concluding a five-year contract deal with the network, and the funds from the deal will be used to underwrite the budget for this season’s competition,” Stephenson commented. Waterhouse are defending champions. KICKS OFF NEXT WEEKlast_img