Tallahassee Journal

Jamaican Bobsled Team Still Fan Favorites Around the World

Jamaican Bobsled Team Still Fan Favorites Around the World

The Jamaican Bobsled Team is one of the most enduring fan favorite teams in any sport. Since commanding the world’s attention with their appearance at the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988, the Jamaicans have continued to enjoy best-wishes and support from fans all over the world. In repeated surveys over the years, the Jamaican Bobsled Team is the only bobsled team the majority of sports fans can even name–it’s an extraordinary level of brand recognition for a team yet to win an Olympic medal.

Calgary AB, December 13, 2016–As they begin the 2016-17 season of North America Cup events, the Jamaican Bobsled Team has again demonstrated their unique ability to draw international media interest. The latest example, though entirely unintentional, underlines the team’s popularity hasn’t diminished since arriving on the international scene in 1988 at the Calgary Winter Olympic Games.

Almost overnight they became the world’s favorite underdog, and cheers were heard around the world as they competed against incredible odds. It was the first time a team from a Caribbean nation had ever appeared at a Winter Olympic Games and the tsunami of international media coverage was unprecedented.

Several weeks ago, the team was back in Calgary, Alberta. However, a breakdown on the side of the road was an ignoble start to the 2016-17 season. Yet, the breakdown opened the door for Calgarians to reconnect with the team – all these years later. In a bizarre twist of fate, two senior executives of different companies were literally within sight of the stranded team on the side of the road and had no hesitation pitching in to help.

Mobile Data Solutions (MDS) president David Schnerch was one of the first on the scene at the side of the road. He was able to ferry the team to their scheduled practice session and almost immediately decided to pitch in further and supply the team with Wi-Fi capabilities and bandwidth as they travel throughout the season.

Schnerch says the media reaction has been incredible. “The amount of contacts after the story has helped us get more social media focus, which we are using to help the Jamaican team raise funds.  As for MDS it has enabled us to get more marketing exposure everywhere.  We have been taking the opportunity to publish more on social media as a marketing effort which we anticipate more sales from in the future,” he said.

“Our staff have been loving the exposure. Locally we have received some emails out of the blue thanking us for being good Calgarians.  Other responses have been fun, because people have heard the story of our involvement with the team, they’re happy to talk to our reps and are pleased to meet the people involved,” he added.

Norman Leach is the National Director Marketing and Communications for Driving Force, an Alberta-based national transportation company. They are established and built on growth through service, according their president Mark Nolin. Leach was nearby, and virtually in sight of the team’s breakdown when he heard of their plight.

Without hesitation, he also stepped forward and worked to set the team up in one of their fleet of 12-seater vans, which he made available to them for the rest of the year.

“Norm reacted because it was the right thing to do, he didn’t ask how much was this going to cost us,” said Nolin.

Leach said he didn’t offer to help based on any ROI – he just wanted to be a good neighbor. “That said, we have received a great deal of interest from both local and international media – some of it surprised us including coverage from the BBC and beyond,” he added.

“We have heard about the partnership from surprising paces. My 11-year-old daughter was in class and her teacher asked everyone ‘Did you see the story about the Jamaican Bobsled Team? Does anyone know who Driving Force is?’ My daughter was pleased to explain!” Leach said.

MDS is going to stick with the team throughout the run-up to the Games.  They have even added an international SIM program to expand the team’s capabilities. “We’re definitely enjoying having the connection to the team.  It is nice that we can help them with Internet while they travel,” said Schnerch.

Driving Force is “with them to the end of the 2016-2017 season and if it works out for everyone we will stay longer than that,” added Leach.

The Jamaican Bobsled Team continues to win fans and sponsor support via the most unlikely avenues, as they prepare for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Korea. An unmatched ability to draw feel-good local and international media coverage certainly helps.

On Thursday December 15th, there is a fundraiser for the team in Calgary. The event is being held at Lot No. 102, 102 10th St NW and all funds raised directly support the Jamaican team’s drive to the 2018 Winter Olympics. See the Facebook event page for details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1856597324572031/

Distributed by iWire News

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Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/1856597324572031/