CPL will have a profound effect
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS - The awareness of the Caribbean Premier League is growing, and momentum is building steadily with the announcement of regional and international stars that will be playing.
However, one of the most important aspects of the largest sporting event in the region is how this tournament will dramatically impact the Caribbean economy, something that the CPL organisers find just as exciting as the actual tournament.
CPL Founder and Chairman, Ajmal Khan said from the launch of the Tournament that the goal of the CPL is to develop and stimulate the economies in the region. One aspect of that is providing local employment for people, something happening right now as the CPL is currently working on hiring staff in the six franchise countries. In addition, the CPL will present a wealth of training opportunities that both staff and volunteers will benefit from, which will create a trickle-down effect as these individuals take what they have learned from, and experienced working for the CPL into other areas of the workforce, and possibly other cricket-related fields. The result will be a more knowledgeable, qualified and employable labour force that will be an asset to employers locally, regionally and internationally.
The potential to grow local economies and provide job opportunities for the people of the Caribbean through the CPL is significant and not to be underestimated, according to Khan, who says he hopes that young people and tradespersons around the region will get involved because the possibilities for personal growth and future employment are limitless.
Economic, Tourism & Trade Development
Talking about the wider, far-reaching effects that the CPL will have on the region, CPL organisers are extremely optimistic and thrilled at the prospects. They believe that the impact of the CPL on the Caribbean from an economic, tourism, trade and development standpoint will be significant. The CPL is going to be a staple in the region for a long time, and as the tournament grows in popularity and possibly includes more franchise countries, all of those countries will have to look at developing their infrastructures in order to accommodate the demand from a tourism perspective. The follow-on effect from this will be sustained economic growth.
The introduction of the CPL has already drawn the attention of major investors and corporations from around the globe who are interested in coming to the Caribbean to see what the region has to offer apart from good cricket. They will be investing in the region and also working with local companies to develop their businesses. The opportunities that are available through these connections are far reaching and long lasting.
While Khan has been outspoken about what he believes the CPL will do for the Caribbean from a socioeconomic development perspective, the introduction of Digicel recently as a major sponsor with CPL, will also have a major impact.
Digicel has distinguished itself in the region as not only a global communications leader but arguably the leading proponent for cricket development in the West Indies, from the grassroots level to the international stage. The relationship that has been forged between these two titans of industry promises long-term benefits to, and a significant impact on, not only every area of cricket but the people of the Caribbean and the region’s economy, tourism products and financial services.
“CPL’s goals and objectives for its investment in the Caribbean align closely with what Digicel has already been doing in the region since we started operations here in 2002, and what we continue to strive to do for West Indies cricket as its main sponsor since 2004,” explained Kieran Foley, Digicel Group Marketing Operations Director. “Digicel has a vested interest in the Caribbean. We are here for the long term, hence our multi-year agreement with the CPL. Our strategy for this relationship is simple: to ensure that the CPL initiative makes such a huge impact in the region that the shockwaves are felt for years and generations to come.”
Foley pointed out that the CPL is not a flash-in-the-pan tournament, and that Digicel sees itself as helping to create a legacy for the game that current players and West Indies cricket fans can pass on to their children.
CPL has a fantastic line up of both regional and international players who all have fans that will come from across the region and around the world to see their cricket icons play. At a time when tourism in the region is experiencing a decline, CPL organisers see having these first-class athletes in the Caribbean during a traditionally slow season as a boon to this vital sector.
“Jamaica is excited to be one of the CPL franchise countries, and looking forward to the impact the Tournament will have on not only Jamaica’s cricket development but the country on a whole,” agrees John Lynch, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “Summer time is low season in the Caribbean, and governments and tourism operators around the region are always seeking ways to stimulate the economy, whether through events or attractive hotel and airfare packages. The CPL has made our job easier by giving both regional and international tourists an incentive to travel to Jamaica. We already have a strong tourism product to offer but the CPL will definitely be an attraction that will add to their overall experience.”
The region should also be prepared to welcome home members of the Caribbean diaspora, those West Indians that have migrated to the US, UK and Canada, and are always looking for opportunities to return home and reconnect with their family, friends and culture, CPL is the perfect opportunity. There are approximately four million Caribbean nationals living in the USA, many of them avid cricket fans. CPL organisers expect to see many of them coming home to see their favourite cricketers playing in their homeland.
Digicel and CPL have cultivated dynamic relationships with regional and international trade partners, and they plan to capitalise on those associations in order to encourage more business in the Caribbean.
“Digicel and CPL both know from experience how attractive doing business in the Caribbean can be, and we know there are some great opportunities for more investors,” says Khan. “From the man selling food in the stands and the fan waving a flag to the franchise sponsor and the young cricketer at the crease facing his first ball in an international competition, we want to make the CPL as successful as possible for all stakeholders involved. To that end, the CPL and Digicel will attract quality investment to this part of the world because in the end, the Caribbean benefits.”