History was made in local football yesterday, at the VIP Lounge of the Hasely Crawford Stadium when the T&T Pro League and cable providers Flow, signed a three-year partnership that will provide financial assistance for the Youth Pro League for the 2015/2016 season.
Flow will invest $300, 000 a year for three years for a total of $900, 000 and a first time TV Right deal that will lead to youth football matches being televised, either live or packaged on tv, starting this year. From the partnership the league, which is played at the weekends, will be renamed- ‘The Flow Y League’
Flow, which launched its own sports channel Flow Sports 95 recently, will initially air highlights of the Flow Y League on its local network channel WISports before switching to Flow Sports for local and regional viewership.
The Youth Pro League caters for action in three divisions, the Under-14, u-16 and Under-18/Reserves and has been the Pro League’s development programme. Following the signing, Pro League’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dexter Skeene welcomed the partnership, saying the newly rebranded ‘Y League’ will transform football in T&T.
According to the pro league boss, “Youth football will be on your television screens weekly, developing personalities and creating stars for the future.”
Skeene further explained, “This partnership is unprecedented because Flow is paying for the broadcast rights for the Youth League. It is the first time in the history of the Pro League that the League has negotiated a six-figure broadcast rights fee. This to my mind is a huge game-changer. It is innovative, imaginative and historic.”
“This is a much needed intervention. Hold on to your seats lets go on this ride together to make this even more historic” he added. The signing comes in the midst of the global recession being experienced presently, which has led to cuts in subventions given to Pro League clubs by government.
Cindy Ann Gatt, Director of Marketing at Flow, said the partnership emphasises Flow’s commitment to the development of sports in T&T.
“If you have been paying attention to the initiatives that Flow has supported in the past couple years, it’s easy to recognise that we have increased our commitment to projects that impact our communities” Gatt said.
“Our increased support for sports is two-fold. Yes we do gain visibility as a sponsor and for that we are thankful. But even more important to us, is the chance to make a difference. Our partnerships contribute in giving our athletes the opportunity to play, to win, and to live their dreams. This partnership with the T&T Youth Pro League is no different” she explained.