Digicel was yesterday announced as the new major sponsor of the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League, which will now be known as the Digicel Pro League.
"Our sponsorship to the Digicel Pro League tournament and the Digicel Pro Bowl tournament is $1.3 million," said Sasha Thompson, marketing director of Digicel. "However, our investment goes beyond this figure as we have agreed to support the Pro League with event activations, telecommunication services, the running of the HOPE project and also with the Youth League and this takes our total investment to $2.5 million."
"This is really a dream come true," said Pro League chairman Larry Romany. "This is a relationship we have courted for a long time."
At yesterday's launch, Pro League chief executive officer Dexter Skeene explained that the newly-acquired private funding will help offset a fall in Government funding to the league, which has dropped from just over $4 million a year ago to $3 million in 2009.
Skeene estimates that it will cost $5 million to run the 2009 professional league, which kicks off tonight with a double-header at Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya and runs until November.
"We will have two rounds of competition this year and a 'Big Six'," stated Skeene, when announcing a new structure to the league, which has trimmed a round of matches to facilitate the Trinidad and Tobago national team's qualifying games for the 2010 World Cup.
"In place of the third round we have another knockout competition. Lucozade has stepped up and we will have the first knockout tournament in June," Skeene announced.
He added that three other knockout tournaments--the First Citizens Cup (September), the Toyota Classic (October) and the Digicel Pro Bowl (November) will also be staged.