Briana Williams renews sponsorship deals with Digicel and Grace Foods ahead of 2023 World Champs

By Sports Desk August 17, 2023
Briana Williams Briana Williams

Olympic and World Championship medalist Briana Williams has renewed her sponsorship deals with both GraceKennedy Ltd and Digicel, her management agency Leep Marketing announced on Thursday.

The 21-year-old Williams, who is currently in Budapest as a member of Jamaica’s team to the 2023 World Athletics Championships that get underway on Saturday, August 19, is Jamaica’s youngest ever Olympic gold medallist.

William expressed her delight at the renewed partnerships.

“I am thrilled to extend my partnership with Digicel and Grace Foods. Jamaica has many accomplished athletes in the sprints, so I don’t take for granted how special it is to have the continued support of not one, but two of the most iconic brands in Jamaica,” she shared.

“This motivates me to continue to give my best, and I look forward to helping in any way I can at the upcoming World Championships, and of course, for next season, making Jamaica’s team in an individual event for the Paris 2024 Olympics.”

Williams signed sponsorship deals with Jamaican brands at the start of her professional career in 2020 at just 18 years old. The rising star was the 2018 World U20 sprint double champion, and the Austin Sealy awardee at the CARIFTA Games in 2018 and then 2019, for her records set and gold medals earned in the 100 metres, 200 metres, and 4 × 100 metres relay in both editions. She is the only Jamaican to win the award two years in a row since Usain Bolt in 2004.

At 19 in 2021, Briana became Jamaica’s youngest Olympic Gold medallist as part of the 4x100m relay team at the Tokyo Olympics. She also helped Jamaica to 4x100m silver at the World Championships in Oregon.

Tanya Lee Perkins, Head of Leep Marketing and Jamaica sponsorship managers for Briana Williams, lauded both brands for their renewed partnerships stating, “There is always a bit of a gamble involved when brands sign athletes at the start of their professional careers, and both Digicel and GraceKennedy did so during the pandemic. Briana has delivered two medals for Jamaica since then, and most importantly, she continues to give back through her philanthropic efforts. The partnerships have been mutually beneficial.”

GraceKennedy (GK) Group CEO Don Wehby commented, “Briana is a talented and focused young athlete with a strong determination to succeed. We are happy to support her scholarship for student-athletes and proud to be a part of her journey."

Digicel Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Murad, shared similar sentiments sayinf, “Briana has been an exceptional ambassador over the past three years. We appreciate her collaborative spirit, fun-loving personality, and her commitment to giving back to her athletic community, which truly exemplifies her character and aligns with Digicel’s core values. Digicel has a great “track” record of building great partnerships in Sport and Briana is a shining example for Jamaica’s athletes of today and tomorrow.”

 Despite an injury-plagued start to her 2023 season, Williams has made Jamaica’s team to the World Championships in Budapest as a 100m alternative and part of women’s 4x100m relay pool.

Related items

  • Michael Johnson launches groundbreaking Grand Slam Track League Michael Johnson launches groundbreaking Grand Slam Track League

    Michael Johnson, the Olympic champion and former world record holder in the 200m and 400m, has unveiled his latest venture: a lucrative new athletics league called Grand Slam Track (GST). Aimed at revolutionizing the track and field landscape, GST promises to bring together the world's elite runners with a significant financial incentive, offering USD$100,000 as the top prize.

    Set to kick off in April 2025, the league will feature a prize fund of USD$12.6 million spread over four events annually. Two of these events will be hosted in the United States. Each year, 48 athletes will be contracted to the league, competing in two events per meet across the four meetings, dubbed "Slams."

    "We're revolutionizing the track landscape," said Johnson. "They deserve to be compensated. The structure of the sport in the past has not compensated those athletes to take that risk to go and compete against the best athletes in the sport."

    The league has already attracted top-tier talent, with American Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, the Olympic and World Champion, and world record holder in the 400m hurdles, being the first athlete to join. "I firmly believe that this is the step forward that track needs to take it to another level," McLaughlin-Levrone stated.

    Grand Slam Track will feature a unique format where each meet hosts 96 athletes, split into two categories: GST Racers and GST Challengers. The 48 core GST Racers, divided equally among six event groups for both men and women, will compete in all four Slams each year. They will receive an annual base compensation and can earn additional prize money. The GST Racing Committee, which selects these athletes, focuses on global championship titles, top rankings, global following, and existing rivalries.

    The other 48 athletes at each Slam, known as GST Challengers, will be selected based on recent performances and intriguing matchups. They will be paid appearance fees per event and are also eligible for full prize money. Both Racers and Challengers will compete in two events over three days during each Slam.

    The event categories are designed to showcase the versatility and skills of the world's best athletes, including short sprints (100m and 200m), short hurdles (100m hurdles for women or 110m hurdles for men, and 100m), long sprints (200m and 400m), long hurdles (400m hurdles and 400m), short distance (800m and 1500m), and long-distance (3000m and 5000m). Athletes' placements in each event are critical as their scores across two events will determine their final ranking for that Slam. The scoring system awards ten points for first place, eight points for second, six points for third, five points for fourth, four points for fifth, three points for sixth, two points for seventh, and one point for eighth place. In the event of a tie, the quickest combined time across the two events will decide the Slam winner.

    Johnson's Grand Slam Track is poised to create a significant shift in the track and field world, providing athletes with better financial rewards and a platform to showcase their talents against the best in the world. With substantial backing and a well-thought-out structure, GST is set to become a premier destination for elite runners globally, promising thrilling competitions and redefining the sport's financial landscape.

     

     

     

     

  • Stephen Francis criticizes JAAA for men’s 4x400m relay qualification failure; offers suggestion to possibly beat June 30 deadline Stephen Francis criticizes JAAA for men’s 4x400m relay qualification failure; offers suggestion to possibly beat June 30 deadline

    Renowned athletics coach Stephen Francis has publicly criticized the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) for what he described as gross incompetence, which has placed the country on the cusp of failing to qualify for the men’s 4x400m relay at this summer’s Paris Olympic Games.

    Francis, known for his no-nonsense approach, did not mince words as he laid bare his frustrations with the governing body’s handling of the situation, as the country’s recent bid to make it into the top 16 in the world, again ended in disappointment.

    The team of Reheem Hayles, JeVaughn Powell, Kimar Farquharson and Tarees Rhoden, gallantly clocked 2:59.75 against a Barbados team, and an international quartet at the NACAC New Life Invitational in Bahamas on Sunday, but failed to run faster than the 2:59.12 seconds set by Zambia in March.

    That was Jamaica’s third attempt at qualification, following two failures at the World Athletics Relays, also held in the Bahamas, in May. Fourteen teams qualified from the World Relays with the next best two teams, based on times run during the qualifying window, being added.

    France (2:58.46) and Zambia, currently occupy those slots, with Jamaica now in a race against time to surpass one of the two before the close of the qualification window on June 30.

    Should the Jamaicans fail to do so, it would be the first time in decades that the country would be absent from the men’s 4x400m at any major championship.

    Francis believes all this could have been avoided had JAAA’s president Garth Gayle appointed competent individuals with immense knowledge of how to manage the situation accordingly.

    “Garth Gayle is a trying man, but he consistently gets letdown by the appointments he makes. Jamaica historically has treated senior athletics as an adjunct to junior athletics, so the same people are there, school principals and their technical committees, making these decisions on issues they know absolutely nothing about,” Francis told SportsMax.TV in an exclusive interview.

    “They know nothing about senior athletics. They might have some kind of resume in (managing) juniors, being a high school principal or a coach at a high school, so (the country suffers) as a result of these personnel, because they keep making stupid decisions when it comes to seniors,” he added.

    To drive home his point, Francis, a highly decorated coach, explained that the country’s teams to the World Athletics Relays were chosen based on early season times.

    “That is rubbish…unheard of, and only people who know nothing about senior athletics would ever even suggest that. (Those with proper knowledge) know that in April, nobody starts to run because people are more peaking for the summer, so what they should have done for the World relays is to run the teams you expect to run down in June. You make them aware early enough that, ‘we're going to select so try and get in shape because we need to qualify, we need to get to the final,” Francis reasoned.