President of Racers Track Club, Dr Glen Mills (sixth left) poses with representatives of sponsors of the Racers Grand Prix during a luncheon at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Thursday. (Michael Gordon)

There are 90 days to the second staging of the JN Racers Grand Prix that will assemble arguably the greatest galaxy stars on local soil and this wouldn’t be possible without the input of corporate Jamaica.

An unprecedented four current world record holders will be on display inside the National Stadium on Saturday, June 10 and they will be paying homage to Usain Bolt, who will be having his final competitive race on Jamaican soil.

JN Racers Grand Prix, dubbed “Salute to a Legend”, will be a tribute to Bolt, who will retire from competition after the IAAF World Championships in London between August 4 and 13.

Last year, corporate Jamaica contributed over $100 million worth of cash and kind to make the inaugural Racers Grand Prix a reality, with title sponsors Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), footing approximately a third of that cost.

This year, the sponsors are back and they were feted by the organisers at a special luncheon at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel last Thursday.

Candice Minott, Jamaica National bank’s brand and integrated marketing manager, said Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora are proud of the island’s rich history in athletics.

“As a corporate entity which believes in development of Jamaica and Jamaicans, last year the Jamaica National Group partnered with Racers Track Club for the first staging of this stellar event and based on how that initial event unfolded, the partnership evolved as being mutually beneficial,” said Minott.

“We at JN bank are proud to renew our commitment for yet another staging of the Racers Grand Prix. However, we also recognise that the inaugural event would not have been possible without the vital participation of our partners who were with us in the beginning,” she noted.

Minott then urged other companies to partner with JN in a quest to continue develop Jamaica’s athletics programme.

The sponsors or soon-to-be sponsors were out in their numbers headed by JN, the title sponsors. Adidas, Digicel, Wisynco, Sports Development Foundation (SDF),

SportsMax, KFC (Restaurants of Jamaica), Smart Medical, Jamaica Pegasus, JUTC, Stewarts Auto, Main Events, KSAC, media partners Jamaica Observer, KLAS FM and TVJ, CariMed, Caribbean Airlines, Pure National Ice and J Wray and Nephew were also in attendance.

Andrei Roper, KFC’s brand manager, said what he experienced at the Racers Grand Prix last year was second to none and his organisation is on board once again.

“I have been to the stadium dozens of times since I was about six years old and last year was right up there in the top three with Jamaica versus Mexico in 1997. It’s right up there with the World Juniors in ‘02 when we saw Bolt at 15 winning the gold in the 200m. The excitement and the energy that was in the stadium last year for the Racers Grand Prix was second to almost none,” said Roper.

“As a sponsor, as a partner, as a supplier, it was a privilege to be on board and this year, with so much significance behind it we are grateful to be back on board again. We are looking forward to another big deal experience,“ he added.

Meanwhile, Jermaine Brown, sponsorship manager at Wisynco Group, said it seemed like it was the same corporate entities giving support all the time and pleaded with other companies to come on board.

“For this event becoming the standard bearer for track and field in Jamaica is an awesome thing and should be supported. From Wisynco as we improve the lives of our people through our brands, this is one more step in the right direction,” said Brown.

“We thank you for the opportunity and we will be here for the long run,“ he added.

Digicel’s sponsorship manager Kamal Powell noted that his organisation is extremely proud to be a sponsor for the second year running.

“The last 15 years Digicel has invested more than US$20m in track and field and other sporting events across Jamaica and three years ago we invested significantly in the Digicel Grand Prix which is looking for greatness in the young people and legends that will follow in the footsteps of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Usain Bolt,” said Powell.

“This event, we believe, will definitely inspire young Jamaicans to become greater than they are now and looking forward to break Usain’s record and become the next generation of legends,” Powell continued.

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