Beach at Sabina Park during Test

The Gleaner

January 7, 1998

CRICKET: The Jamaica Cricket Association believes there will be a large number of English fans at Sabina Park for the first Test between the West Indies and England.

According to Jamaica Tourists Board's advertisements, life's a beach, and apart from cricket, the English fans will have a beach at Sabina Park on which to enjoy themselves during the Test match.

There won't be any sea, but apart from the sun, there will be white sand one foot deep, palm trees bending in the breeze, beach umbrellas, beach balls and a small bar serving, among other things, rum and coke. The ``beach'' will be to the left of the Red Stripe Mound, in front of the main scoreboard, and the patrons, armed with sun tan lotion, will be lazing around - the men in swim shorts, the women in bikinis. Promoted by Caribbean Sports Marketing and sponsored by Sandals, the beach will be open to patrons of the popular Red Stripe Mound which was set up in 1995. To gain admission however, the dress is compulsory - it must be beach wear.

``That area is usually dead,'' said Jason Sharp of CSM, ``and this will liven it up. It also fits into the Mound image of having fun at cricket. Most importantly however, Jamaica is a tourist destination and the ``beach'' scenery, the atmosphere, will help sell Jamaica in the UK market''.

How will a ``beach'' at a Test match sell Jamaica?

``Simple,'' said Sharp. ``It is going to have a tropical look - a tropical feel, and the Test match will be beamed live to England. Can you imagine the impact such a scene - the white sand, the palms, the sight of people relaxing and dancing in the sun in bikinis - will have on those people in the middle of the winter?''

It is not the first time that Sandals is attempting to use cricket to sell the tourism product. Sandals sponsored the West Indies team on its tour of England in 1995 and for three months, used the opportunity to promote its destinations around the Caribbean.

Source: The Jamaica Gleaner

Contributed by CricInfo Management, and reproduced with permission
Date-stamped : 25 Feb1998 - 18:49