Alabanquima partnership to strengthen GFF alignment with shifting trends in Marketing
By Franklin Wilson
Kaieteur News – The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) is in its effort to ensure that the Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT) is fully marketed far and wide having hired the services of Brazil’s experienced Business and Marketing Consultancy, Alabanquima.
The inaugural year partnership will see Alabanquima, led by experienced duo Flavio Waltz and Marcelo De Paulos, develop and expand commercial opportunities for the ‘Golden Jaguars’ brand.
The familiarity of Waltz and De Paulos brings to the global marketing landscape a hands-on experience of more than 25 years. Kaieteur Sport is pleased to share with you an interview conducted with Alabanquima bosses about their plans for the sequel of the ‘Golden Jaguars’ brand.
Kaieteur Sport – What was the glue factor that caused your company to gravitate towards partnering with the GFF to market the Golden Jaguars?
Alabanquima – We believe it was the mutual benefit and commitment of making the partnership work. In our end, the driver was the believer in the bright future of Guyana football. It seemed the right bet at the right time.
We believe our team brings together some very important skills and strengths such as: Sports Marketing, Business Development, Branding, Oil and Gas Knowledge and Manufacturing, Broadcasting, Football – a combination that is very difficult to find in the market.
Kaieteur Sport – As an experienced marketing company, how challenging do you find the partnership with the GFF and the new Golden Jaguars? Is this your first time working with a CFU team?
Alabanquima – This is our first experience in Caribbean football – the reason why we try to learn as much as possible to achieve the quality that the GFF expects. We have been very impressed by the level of professionalism among the GFF staff. With the huge potential of football to grow in the country, this seems the perfect scenario for a very bright future.
And we also have high hopes for Guyana’s very special moment as a country. The new Oil Discoveries, the huge growth opportunity. The country has a once in a lifetime opportunity ahead of itself, right now.
Kaieteur Sport – With covid-19 presenting endless challenges for sports worldwide, how would you be able to secure partners who are part of your agreement with the GFF to support SMNT’s quest to be the best starting with season 2021/2022?
Alabanquima – Covid definitely presents unforeseen challenges. But lots of opportunities too. We believe there is a fine story to tell. Content and social media will definitely play a big part in our plan.
People all over the world are more exposed to technologies that allow connection even when they are apart. In the initial phase of our project, we have already contacted people in Brazil, England, the United States, United Arab Emirates and, of course, Guyana.
Kaieteur Sport – Can you be a little more specific as to what you as a company would do at the table?
Alabanquima – Our team is made up of individuals with complementary experience and skills. Marcelo is the Sports Marketing expert and Flavio is the Oil and Gas and Manufacturing expert.
We usually say you have to create value first, capture value later. Our commitment is to introduce a leadership plan so that the GFF can create as much value as possible for football fans, players and administrators. That will help build a better product, not only on the field but especially in the hearts of all Guyanese. What we call “emotional investment” is what attracts sponsors.
Kaieteur Sport – How wide is this partnership with the GFF? Does it also include securing opportunities for local players to market their skills in Brazil and elsewhere? In addition, would you try to arrange friendly games for the Golden Jaguars?
Alabanquima – One of the pillars of Alabanquima is a “long-term relationship” with our clients. We have a long-term vision for our partnership with the GFF in its effort to build the most comprehensive football development possible in all aspects of Guyana. But timing was of the essence now: the Golden Jaguars start in the World Cup Qualifiers in a couple of months! We narrowed the initial scope to focus on the two main competitions (WCQ and the Gold Cup). Being successful in this first mission will certainly build our relationship with the GFF. And the GFF will have more resources to invest in the long-term vision we had initially discussed.
That said, we never overlook any opportunities to help improve the product we sell, which in the end is the Guyanese people’s excitement with the Golden Jaguars. The topics you mentioned – and many others – are not in our initial scope, but we will scroll any available resource to achieve the success that President Wayne Forde has in his vision.
Kaieteur Sport – What will you look for from the GFF in terms of a commitment to making the partnership successful?
Alabanquima – We know for a fact that the GFF is fully invested in our project. They had other options and they chose to work with us, which is a real honor and humility. It is our duty to draw attention whenever we see room for improvement in the way they conduct business. But we see no lack of willingness or enthusiasm to produce the best possible outcome.
Kaieteur Sport – If I’m right, the initial period for this contract is one year, do you see this as enough to have an indelible impact with the team?
Alabanquima – The work that Coach Maximo and Wilson Toledo do is what really makes a difference. Our job is to produce resources so that the GFF can provide them with better and better working conditions. A year is definitely a short time, but we will strive to produce as much impact as possible. In fact, we will have to start showing results well in advance of a year – and this is the main goal at this point.
Kaieteur Sports – Marketing is huge and widespread, fans are vital to the cause, how do you plan to get local and foreign fans hyped and involved with the brand?
Alabanquima – Every brand in every field dreams of having what sports in general and football specifically have: excitement and engagement among their target audience. All we need is to tell the story of something extraordinary that is already happening. Getting the message across to a larger audience will depend on a number of different initiatives. And most of them are not particularly expensive, but require professionalism, commitment and passion – that there is no shortage in Guyana.
Kaieteur Sports – Would individual players be selected at any time to be Ambassadors?
Alabanquima – It always helps when you have national heroes that people can relate to. But it’s too soon for us to make that prediction. If there is a group of athletes who are representative of the story we hope to tell, they will play a part in that.
Kaieteur Sport – Would the partnership be specific to the Senior Team only?
Alabanquima – This is the scope of the initial agreement. But we understand that there are other important aspects and attributes that sponsors love and which may be beyond the SMNT. And our vision, in line with President Forde’s, is far more ambitious. We will do our best to deliver the initial project so that we can all participate in this larger vision.