Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Team Won, The Country Lost

The Underdogs Surprised Everyone, Especially Their Own Supporters

You can't expect to hit the jackpot if you don't put a few nickels in the machine.

YAHOO and CONGRATULATIONS goes out to the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket team. They kicked some exciting ass in Airtel Cricket Championship India; makes me beam with pride. During the last week or so they have gained a first round victory over Somerset, an English team, the Deccan Chargers, an India team and yesterday they tackled and soundly beat New South Wales, an Australian team in a finger biting match that came with a surprise and trilling ending.

I would be the first to admit, I’m no cricket fan but what I witnessed yesterday was something to write home about. Every Trinidadian in every corner of the world should be proud of their team. To appreciate this supremely delectable moment the almost impossible feat they accomplished must be put into perspective.

Trinidad and Tobago has an official population of 1.3 million people, India's population is approximately 1.48 billion. This small island can fit into each of those countries multiple time. In fact, when these countries play international cricket they usually play a combined West Indies team with players from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica or include other notable players from other smaller islands.

Like a blind friend of mine nicked named Fisherman, he felt each whack of the bat as Kieron Pollard brought down the house on the Aussie team. You can read the newspaper reports of the match here.

Not to steal their thunder, from a marketing perspective the win was a big opportunity missed for the Trinidad and Tobago government and large private sector conglomerates.

The team was invited to the tournament but they could not locate a sponsor. Not one local company was willing to step up to the plate in Trinidad and Tobago. The captain of the Trinidad and Tobago team approached a friend, a local businessman who contacted another friend, the owner of a poultry conglomerate in India and agreed to sponsor the team. Now the politicians have their two cents to add to the victory.

The team uniforms were therefore embossed with the name of the company in India, Venky’s chicken farmers and distributors. Every state owned enterprise and even many privately owned companies in Trinidad and Tobago could have stepped up to the plate and sponsored the team; none did.

This game is being televised globally to millions of cable viewers. This would have been a perfect opportunity for anyone in the Energy Sector, the Ministry of Tourism or any other internationally owned private conglomerate. Even if they had missed that opportunity to sponsor the team, all the companies in Trinidad and Tobago also absconded the opportunity to advertise on the grounds or on cable television ads. What is really missing from this picture?

Let’s not splice and dice now, we are too busy celebrating and congratulating the Trinidad and Tobago cricket team with big accolades. Leave the losers to lick their own wounds.


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