May 13, 2005
Tension brewing over Hairoun, Carib beer sales at Cricket

Another cricket storm is brewing as Wednesday’s One -Day International match between the West Indies and Pakistan nears.

A committee, calling itself “Supporters of Local Vincentian Products” is taking issue with the decision not to allow Hairoun products to be sold at the match. {{more}}

Carib Brewery – a Trinidad and Tobago company, brewers of Carib Beer, sponsor of the regional four day cricket tournament has been granted ‘pouring rights’ for Wednesday’s match.

The “Supporters of local Vincentian products “ committee last Tuesday issued a statement calling the action “wrong” and a “travesty of unfair play”.

“To sell the pouring rights to a foreign beer should take into account local companies who employ Vincentians and contribute to the development of St.Vincent and the Grenadines”, the release stated.

However, President of the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association Julian Jack, said

the granting of pouring rights to Carib Beer is a contractual arrangement between Carib Brewery and the West Indies Cricket Board(WICB).

Jack summed up the situation as “unfortunate” but said the rights of the sponsors must be respected.

Jack, who had been elevated to the top spot of the local body earlier this year , said that there is nothing his organisation can do in the situation.

He disclosed that a local beer company was invited to a meeting with members of the WICB recently to be appraised of the developments but no representative of the company showed up.

Linked to the granting of exclusive rights to companies, Jack said the WICB is aware of the possibility of ambush marketing, that advertising of rival beer companies will not be permitted at the Arnos Vale Playing Field. This he said extended to the wearing of jerseys and other paraphernalia of opposing brewers.

Other repercussions from the granting of pouring rights to Carib means that the St.Vincent Brewery will not be able to operate its usual party stand.

Bottlers St.Vincent Limited are the local distributors of Carib and franchise holder of Pepsi. Carib is the official beer of West Indies cricket with Pepsi, the official soft drink.

On the local front, Bottlers Ltd sponsors the First Division of the national cricket competition. Bottlers’ Marketing Manager Brian Pereira said the it is the first time that his company has taken up their first right of refusal to allow other companies to sell their product at a Carib sponsored event.

He said that Carib has pumped US$1 Million into the sponsorship of West Indies cricket

Pereira claimed that the pronouncements of the “Committee” seeks to undermine the efforts of promoting the soon to be established Caribbean Single Market and Economy(CSME)