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Digicel Renews Sponsorship Of The Digicel Caribbean Cup

June 8th 2007 - Increased Investment from Title Sponsor Secures Continued Development and Investment in Game

June 8th, 2007 – New York, USA & Kingston, Jamaica: Digicel has renewed its partnership with the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) to remain as title sponsors of the Digicel Caribbean Cup for the next four years covering the upcoming 2008-09 and 2010-11 tournaments.

The renewed investment was welcomed by CFU and CONCACAF President Jack Warner at a press conference in New York today ahead of the kick off of the Group games in New York in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Gold Cup will have Digicel Caribbean Cup Champions Haiti and finalists Trinidad & Tobago, Cuba as well as Guadeloupe all participating. Jamaican born international football legend John Barnes was also present in New York to support the continued partnership.

“We are very fortunate to have had over the past years such a strong and co-operative partner in Digicel to help us grow the premier international football tournament in the Caribbean. I’m delighted that our strong working relationship has developed so positively and to the huge benefit of fans and players in the Caribbean” said CFU President Jack Warner.

“The 2006-07 edition of the Digicel Caribbean Cup was a spectacular success attracting large crowds, big TV audiences and producing exciting games full of good quality football. We are very much looking forward to working with Digicel to build on these successes and to build an even stronger tournament in 2008-09 which further supports the growth of Caribbean football” added Jack Warner.

Digicel initiated sponsorship of the Digicel Caribbean Cup in 2004 and, with an increased investment from the sponsors in 2006, the Digicel Caribbean Cup 2006-07 represented the largest ever football tournament held in the region. Digicel’s injection of funds was used to revamp the tournament format resulting in a competition featuring more teams (24) playing in more matches (69) in more venues (10 different islands) than ever before.
The competition culminated in an eight team finals tournament in Trinidad & Tobago, the largest finals phase in the history of the tournament, where Haiti clinched the Digicel Caribbean Cup for the first time in front of more than 18,000 fans.

Away from the stadia, where match day attendances for the tournament averaged a healthy 5,500, a TV audience of 320 million worldwide enjoyed the action with Fox Soccer Channel broadcasting over 50 half-hour highlights programmes and Setanta Sports brining the semi-finals and Haiti’s final success live to millions.

Beyond the Digicel Caribbean Cup, Digicel has extended its commitment to the “beautiful game” throughout the CONCACAF region, supporting the Copa de Naciones Digicel, Central America’s leading football competition which provides qualifiers from that region for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and national football teams in many of its 22 markets such as Haiti, Jamaica, Barbados, El Salvador and Turks & Caicos.

According to Kieran Foley, Head of Sponsorship at Digicel Group: “Football, just like cricket, is a good fit for Digicel because it is the shared passion of so many of our customers. We are committed to going the distance to ensure the development of Caribbean football and are exciting about building on the success of the 2006-07 Digicel Caribbean Cup to create an even stronger tournament in 2008-09”.

Most recently Digicel hosted the Digicel Shield in Trinidad & Tobago which saw the Soca Warriors emerge as victors and served as an important warm up for the qualified Caribbean teams competing in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Former England star John Barnes endorsed Digicel’s involvement in Caribbean football by adding “More international football and more funds to national teams are two important factors in the growth of Caribbean football. The region needs an international football tournament that matches the prestige of similar international events and drives growth of the game and Digicel have proven strong partners with the CFU in achieving these goals.”

More information on Digicel’s involvement with Football is available on: www.digicelfootball.com.