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Sponsorships reward innovation, creativity

Thursday, February 14 2013

WHEN it comes to local culture and entertainment few entities span the depth of engagements like blink/bmobile where TSTT use these brands to put its mark on responsible cultural and commercial marketing.

By virtue of the important role telecommunications plays year-round in the day to day lives of people, its importance to Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is not lost on the company. This is especially so because the eco-system of Carnival is so all-encompassing. It becomes as much about branding as it is about building better business opportunities for stakeholders who share the company’s passion for innovation.

TSTT not only pumps its creative, financial and technological resources into T&T’s cultural sector but also gives of personal time and energy to support the success of the nation’s arts and entertainment stakeholders.

The blink/bmobile involvement in some of the country’s leading mas bands such as Island People, Yuma, Bliss, Fantasy and 19-time San Fernando band of the year Kalicharan Carnival impacts not just masqueraders but also every artist and artisan involved in the mas. From the band launch to parading on the street, there are security, catering, logistics, transport, design and distribution stakeholders all of whom depend on and strive towards mas players having memorable encounters. That ensures repeat participation and TSTT’s financial and other support helps bandleaders innovate designs, logistics and value for money to deliver a better experience to mas players.

The same can be said for promoters of small, medium and large sized fetes and cultural events that get blink / bmobile support. Such events include Trinity College Soka in Moka, Fire Fete, UWI’s All-Inclusive Yalla, Southex Chutney Soca Monarch competition and the Central Bank fete. Arguably these events really drive the excitement of the season leading up to Carnival Monday and Tuesday.

They not only allow guests to experience the new music of the season but promoters create themed environments with a range of special effects and design elements. The supporting list of businesses that provide services at these events mean that here as well there is an army of specialists with one common goal, delight the guests. Sponsorships at events tied to educational institutions or special interest groups has the added benefit of seeing students and members reaping the rewards long after Carnival has passed with, for example, new computers or audio visual equipment, renovations or even scholarships at these institutions. More notably, this Carnival the company has powered the creative/philanthropic efforts of two of its endorsees i.e. Project Runway winner Anya Ayoung-Chee and cricket legend Brian Lara.

Bmobile / blackberry was one of the main corporate driving forces behind Anya’s inspired and innovative event “Fashion Rocks The Avenue” where she released her new Colours of Carnival fashion line. Brian Lara also introduced a charity golf event this year which he hopes to have as an annual Carnival fixture involving a number of local, regional and international celebrities playing for over seven charities locally. This is aimed at giving Carnival visitors something more to experience when they come to Trinidad and Tobago.

There are several instances where blink / bmobile take a more direct approach to charitable giving at Carnival. Over ten thousand Children’s ID cards are provided free of charge to minimise the risk of children being accidentally separated from their parents for lengthy periods. In another project, during the Soca in B Square free lunchtime concerts, St Dominic’s Children’s Home and Bridge of HOPE were provided with cash donations to acquire instruments for the music programmes they respectively offer. Subesh Ramjattan of Bridge of HOPE says their music programme has a profound impact on the children because they learn a number of other life skills in the process of tapping into their musical talents.

Almost immediately after Carnival ends, stakeholders begin preparations for the next year, weighing what worked and looking for where the next innovations will emerge. That commitment from stakeholders and TSTT creates a dynamic environment that never fails to delight the local and visiting participants and will continue to be one of the driving forces that helps define TT Carnival as the Greatest Show on Earth.

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