KFC has taken their partnership with Khadija “Bunny” Shaw to a whole new level, spicing up their collaboration for even greater impact.

The quick service food giant launched an exciting new ‘KFC Big Deal’ campaign earlier this week featuring the country’s all-time top goalscorer, on the eve of the start of the FIFA Women’s World Cup which will feature Shaw and Reggae Girlz making their historic second-consecutive appearance.

According ROJ Brand Manager Andrei Roper, this project symbolises phase two of KFC Jamaica’s brand partnership with Shaw.

“As we dive into phase two of our incredible partnership with Khadija “Bunny” Shaw with our new ‘Big Deal’ campaign, we’re filled with immense pride and excitement. From the first moment we signed her as an ambassador before the FIFA Men’s World Cup last November, we knew we had on our team, a true champion who perfectly aligns with the spirit of KFC. We are glad to embark on this new chapter with Shaw as we stand by her and the inspiring Reggae Girlz, united in the pursuit of greatness on the world stage,” Roper said.

Shaw also expressed delight with the extended partnership.

“The brand partnership has been great! Being part of KFC’s team has been really fun and it’s amazing to see a brand like KFC invest and support women’s football in Jamaica. I’m grateful for their support so far and I’m looking forward to seeing us continue to grow and develop together. It has already been a journey filled with a shared passion for women’s football in Jamaica and the next phase is a big opportunity to support and grow the game in our country. We’re seeing the game grow globally and Jamaica has a key role to play on and off the pitch.”

The campaign will be in full effect just in time for the FIFA Women’s World Cup and running throughout the entirety of the Women’s World Cup, as Shaw attracts the support and attention of many in this year’s tournament.

KFC is also proud to recognise her outstanding achievements over the past year - competing in 22 matches in the Women’s Super League (WSL) with Manchester City, scoring 20 goals with 7 assists, while collecting numerous accolades including her club’s Player of the Season, multiple WSL Player of the Month trophies, and the CONCACAF Women’s Player of the Year award.

Shaw says the team is looking forward to representing Jamaica on the biggest stage.

“It’s a huge moment for us, to represent our country, to play for our families and represent ourselves on such a huge stage is an exciting moment for all of us. We will make sure to do our best on the pitch, but we’re also going to need everyone’s support back home,” she asserted.

KFC recently expanded their commitment to women’s football through their $7 Million sponsorship of the Reggae Girlz last month. As main broadcast sponsors of the Women’s World Cup in the country, KFC has promised Jamaicans extensive coverage of the competition on a free to air station.

The senior Reggae Girlz may be far advanced in their preparations for the FIFA Women's World Cup, but Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts welcomed Restaurants of Jamaica's (ROJ) $7 million sponsorship as a timely injection that will ensure the Lorne Donaldson-coached team breathe much easier heading Down Under.

Ricketts believes the Girlz have not been shown enough appreciation for their historic accomplishment of qualifying for a second-consecutive World Cup but says KFC's support represents a step in the right direction and another example which he hopes other corporate companies will follow.

The one-year partnership will see KFC pumping $6 million in cash and another $1 million in products to the Reggae Girlz, who are currently in camp putting the final pieces in place ahead of the July 20 to August 20 showpiece, in Australia and New Zealand.

"We need to show far more appreciation to our Girlz and when you think of the struggles some of these players went through, the sacrifice and commitment to get a country like ours to two global tournaments consecutively, it is no ordinary achievement," Ricketts said during a press conference at JFF’s St Lucia Avenue base on Wednesday.

"So, I must recognize Mr. [Andrei] Roper and KFC for coming on board to partner with the JFF to ensure that we improve the quality of life for all these girls that constantly and consistently make us so very proud. This is something that we can gloat about and hopefully this really sends a strong signal to Jamaica as it relates to the positive and social impact that these two qualifications have on our little boys and girls," he added.

While most of their focus is currently on the World Cup, Ricketts said the Olympic Games Qualifiers against Canada in September, as well as the women's Nations League and Gold Cup, has not been lost on them, hence is call for more support.

But beyond that and despite the financial constraints, the president pointed out that his administration is intent on getting things right going forward, particularly where developing the country's football from the grassroots is concerned.

By virtue of the Girlz qualification, the JFF is assured of just over US$1.5 million from FIFA, but that figure could increase if the team goes beyond the group stage. The Girlz are drawn in Group F alongside France, Brazil and Panama.

"We are just intent on ensuring that the whole psyche of our little boys and girls are positively impacted. We struggle to meet our footballing demands when you think that we have 12 teams, six on either side of the gender, that we must take care of, it is challenging, but we are managing.

"So, I want to again mention our sponsors we had Courts last week and now KFC joining the Marley Foundation and others, but we need other corporate entities to come on board as we try to impact the social needs of the boys and girls that are interested in playing the sport," Ricketts shared.

"We must put programmes in place, and we are intent on getting a proper grassroots programme. We have a committee which is responsible for talent identification, grassroots and development, so this committee will be very active in identifying grassroots kids and having them properly harnessed and then get them in a formal setting so we can then make the transition from little kids to high school players and then inevitably, national players," the president noted.

Meanwhile, ROJ’s Brand Manager Andrei Roper explained that this partnership with the senior Reggae Girlz is an extension of that with captain and prolific goal scorer, Khadija "Bunny" Shaw.

The 26-year-old Manchester City striker, who is not in the current camp, is expected to join up with the final squad when they head to Amsterdam for a pre-tournament camp before heading to Australia.

"We really wanted to help to make the Reggae Girlz journey to the World Cup that much easier, theirs is a tremendous achievement and I don't think we fully appreciate as a nation what a huge achievement it is. They are true ambassadors for Jamaica, not just for women's sport but for brand Jamaica on a whole, so for us at KFC we pride ourselves on giving back... just supporting all those pillars of society that really represent everything positive about Jamaica," Roper affirmed.

"Women's football is an area where we did see an opportunity to really give a bit more as a brand. Last year, we started a partnership with Khadija Shaw as our big deal ambassador, so this is just a fitting extension of our relationship with Khadija, who is the face of women's football and so we are broadening our scope and partnership to the wider Reggae Girlz programme.

"So, we just want to say thanks and just to help make their preparations a bit easier because we know it’s going to be a tough group and so we want to just really make the last lap going Down Under that much easier. So great partnership for us and we are glad to be on board," he stated.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.