SOURCE: Digicel

December 06, 2006 09:00 ET

Digicel Announces Title Sponsorship of 2007 Copa de Naciones

Partnership With Central American Football Union Marks Digicel's Commitment to El Salvador Market

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 6, 2006 -- Digicel, the fastest-growing mobile telecommunications operator in the Caribbean and new entrant to the Central American market, has today announced the start of what promises to be a rewarding partnership with the Central American Football Union (Union Centroamericana de Futbol - UNCAF), through Digicel's title sponsorship of the 2007 Copa de Naciones Digicel.

As the most prestigious football tournament in Central America, the seven UNCAF countries; El Salvador, where Digicel operates, Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama, will all compete in the 2007 Copa de Naciones Digicel, to be held in the Cuscatlan Stadium in San Salvador from February 8th to 18th.

Like the similarly partnered Digicel Caribbean Cup, the Central American tournament is not only an important qualifier to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, with five teams to go through to the first phase of the competition in June, but also determines the best team in the region.

General Secretary of UNCAF Mr. Rafael Timoco welcomed Digicel's involvement in the tournament. "Digicel's commitment to the tournament is a sign of the new enthusiasm they are bringing to the El Salvador telecommunications market," said Mr. Timoco.

"Digicel's passion for delivering innovative technology and superior mobile phone services in its Caribbean markets has led to the company's phenomenal success over the past five years. We are confident that this passion coupled with its Caribbean football experience makes Digicel the right partner to help grow the Copa de Naciones to its true potential. Working with Traffic Sports, the commercial rights holder of the tournament, Digicel will build an exciting football experience for fans and players here in El Salvador," he added.

The 2007 Copa De Naciones Digicel tournament will consist of two groups with the two top teams from each progressing to the semi finals. The tournament will also give teams from the region more opportunity than ever before to play on the world stage with, for the first time, five teams qualifying from the Copa Digicel for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the USA in June 2007. Matches will be broadcasted on TV across competing Central American countries and on Galavision cable TV in the United States.

According to Digicel El Salvador CEO Luis La Rocca, "Digicel takes enormous pride in becoming the official main sponsor of the Copa de Naciones. As with our partnership with the Caribbean Football Union, we want to be more than just sponsors of the tournament, but rather partners with UNCAF working at every level to help and support football fans and spectators."

"We look forward to creating a truly unique football experience for fans here in El Salvador with more prizes, give-aways and activities at the matches. We are greatly enthused by the warm welcome we have received here and look forward to developing further connections with the people of El Salvador," added Luis La Rocca.

Digicel entered the El Salvador mobile telecommunications market through its acquisition of Digicel Holdings Limited in October this year, marking the company's first entry into the burgeoning Central American telecommunications market. The acquisition enabled Digicel to expand its mobile services to 22 markets and acquire a mobile telecommunications license in Guatemala.

About Copa de Naciones

As the largest tournament of the Central American Football Union (UNCAF) the first Copa de Naciones took place in 1991 in Costa Rica with four Central American counties competing in the final phase. The tournament takes place every two years and in 1995 the tournament expanded to include all seven countries of UNCAF.

The tournament is a qualifier to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which included three Central American teams from the year 1991 to 2001. In 2003 the fourth place was disputed with the Caribbean Football Union and in 2005 Central America enjoyed four selections. The 2007 Copa de Naciones Digicel taking place in El Salvador from February 8th to 18th, will see the selection for the first time ever of five Central American teams.

The 2007 Copa de Naciones Digicel represents the ninth edition of the tournament and the second time to visit El Salvador since 1995 when Costa Rica became Copa De Naciones champions for the fifth time in a row. Honduras has won it twice and Guatemala once.

About Digicel

Since its launch in 2001, Digicel has become the fastest-growing wireless telecommunications operator in the Caribbean. After five years, Digicel is renowned for competitive rates, unbeatable coverage, superior customer care, a wide variety of products and services, and state-of-the-art handsets. It is the largest GSM operator in the region.

By offering innovative wireless services and community support, Digicel has become a leading brand in the Caribbean and has placed the region at the cutting edge of wireless communications.

Digicel is incorporated in Bermuda and has operations in twenty two markets including Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Curaçao, The Cayman Islands, Dominica, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and Turks & Caicos. Digicel also has a license in Guatemala and coverage in St. Martin and St. Barths.

The company is the lead sponsor of Caribbean sports teams including the West Indies Cricket Team, Special Olympics teams across the Caribbean and is title sponsor of the Digicel Caribbean Football Union Cup, which involves 30 Caribbean countries and is an important qualifier towards the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Visit www.digicelgroup.com for more information on Digicel or www.digicelfootball.com for the company's football activities.

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    Maureen Rabbitt
    Digicel Group
    T: +1 876-361-2852 (Jamaica)

    Dacrie Brooks
    Cohn & Wolfe for Digicel
    T: +1 212-798-9804