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BAAA – ‘Be My Running Partner’

With a busy year ahead for the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA), the new executive members are looking to get Corporate Bahamas.

In an event dubbed “Be My Running Partner” at the Fusion Superplex last Thursday, the BAAA sought out corporate support. Attendees, representing potential partners of the association, were laced up in running shoes as they interacted with each other and the BAAA executive team.

Drumeco Archer, president of the BAAA, was ecstatic at the turnout. He said that the event represented just one night of many nights that the association will be engaging corporate sponsors this year, as they look to build a bigger and better commercial brand.

“This is one night of many nights where we will be engaging our corporate partners differently than we have in the past. It has been a lifelong dream to be able to see the BAAA coming to a bigger and better commercial brand. Through the relationships that we are forging tonight, I think it is a wonderful start to an entity that people would see that can become more self-sustaining in the future,” Archer said.

Archer added that the responses from persons in attendance were amazing and the approach the association used was an interesting one.

“People love track and field and one of the things that we haven’t done well was to really provide a product that is sustainable. One that is relevant to the offerings of their companies. What we have tried to do differently is to try to marry the two and understand what their marketing objectives are and tie them into ours so they can be aligned with the BAAA. For me, I think that is a more interesting approach than what we have done in the past,” said Archer.

With the CARIFTA Games in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, next month; the Senior National Championships in Freeport, Grand Bahama; the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relays in Yokohama, Japan; the North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Age Group Championships in San Salvador, El Salvador; the Pan American Under-20 Championships in San José, Costa Rica; and the IAAF World Championships in Doha Qatar, just to name a few of the major events this year, the BAAA will need to lean on Corporate Bahamas quite a bit to assist in getting athletes to the various meets.

Archer said: “The BAAA budget – travel and accommodation for athletes – is $800,000 a year and that varies from year to year so the responsibility is really a mammoth one and one that we take very seriously because no one ever wants to be in a situation where it is said that kids are being left behind, so our appeal to Corporate Bahamas is a real appeal and we really hope that they come on board.”

The BAAA is looking to launch the Senior National Track and Field Championships Secretariat in Grand Bahama. They want it to be the biggest local track and field event for the year, and are looking forward to that.

Archer senses that there is a movement in track and field in the country, and he is looking to use an entertainment strategy to help make the sport attractive again.

“The movement that I sense is inspired by talking to the athletes more, identifying new talent, talking to the coaches, providing a product that is relevant to young kids, so what we have done is identify entertainment strategies to attract people back to the sport. I think that we compete against the NBAs and the Super Bowls of the world for the attention of the sporting fans,” he said. “What we have tried to do is try to widen our viewership and that has paid off in great dividends for us. We move to Grand Bahama for our senior nationals and we expect that to be extremely popular over there. One of the things that we will be doing in Grand Bahama is that we are going to build an event around entertainment once again. One of the things you can expect is an island-wide step show that will comprise both fraternities and sororities along with high school students. It will be a way to once again turn the attraction back to sports through entertainment,” Archer added.

Archer said he is not forgetting about the Family Islands as he and his team intend to engage the islands to be a part of the movement.

“My team and I are in the process of rolling out a campaign that will create a seminal event on three islands each year so that the islands can play host to a major event that will be supported and sponsored by the BAAA. It will come about through the corporate partners that are local to their markets. We want to engage the corporate communities on every island to invest in the program on those islands and I think that is the only way we can build facilities and provide better training opportunities for kids on those respective islands,” he said.

The BAAA will be looking to establish a GoFundMe page and a number of other initiatives that will allow the association to generate money in a residual and passive way. Archer said their efforts will vary depending on the corporate partner involved and identifying what it is that they do – how do they sell their product and how the BAAA can be a part of it.

Furthermore, Archer said that one of the things they are doing with their corporate partners is to provide them with opportunities to host events through their association with the federation. He said that is one of the benefits of being a partner – so that if the corporate partner has a promotion, whether it’s a social event or a product promotion, it can be done in a co-branding way.

This initiative will extend not only to New Providence but to Grand Bahama as well. The different sponsorship levels are platinum, gold, silver and bronze.

Interested persons can contact Kermit Taylor, vice president of marketing and public relations of the BAAA, at telephone number (242) 325-4433 or e-mail address baaa.athletics@gmail.com. for more information.

Simba French

Sports Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism
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