Lashley: Come aboard
BARBADOS has not gone the route of licensing the name of its major festival, but Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley said it is an option that is open to the National Cultural Foundation, the producer.
Speaking to the members of the media after the launch of the 2014 Crop Over calendar at Kensington Oval on Thursday night, Lashley said a license would mean payment for the use of the intellectual property associated with the name Crop Over.
“It is something that is open in the event that we feel we want to protect the intellectual property of the brand of Crop Over. So far though, I believe each year we have seen a gradual increase in the number of entities coming on board in terms of sponsoring Crop Over and we have certainly increased the appeal and the opportunities available to indicate the kind of opportunities available to sponsors to get involved in Crop Over.
“So I believe that this year we are very optimistic and looking forward for even more entities, more individuals and companies to come on board and sponsor events. I think we have events for everybody, so there is an opportunity for every entity to really enjoy and to participate,” he said.
Lashley’s comments are in reference to the concern that too many of the businesses which benefit from the Sweetest Summer Festival after failing to contribute by way of sponsorships.
While noting that Crop Over would not have reached its 40th year without the continued support of sponsors, Lashley said sponsorship is even more crucial at this time despite the economic challenges.
“It is even more vital that you review your current contributions and make sure that the festival is produced in such a way that it can stimulate the levels of economic activity that we need at this time. It is unfortunate that there are still far too many businesses in Barbados which make no sponsorship contribution whatsoever to the festival. And yet, it is patiently obvious that they are, at the same time, some of the greatest beneficiaries.
“And so, I urge you to look carefully at the extent to which you benefit from Crop Over, the extent to which you use its name to market and promote your products and services. I urge you to resolve to make a contribution, however small, to ensuring its sustainability and high quality of production,” Lashley said.
He made it clear that sponsorship doesn’t always have to be in large amounts and that any level of sponsorship offered “will be most welcome and greatly appreciated”.
“Our aim is to stimulate the greatest possible amount of economic activity during the festival season, and we need you to join us in realizing this goal. Remember, the extent to which your businesses thrive and prosper, is dependent on the extent to which our society remains stable and productive,” Lashley stated.