The members of CNMI Women’s Va’a Team. Contributed photo.
COLONIA, Yap (Press Release) — Hosting the Micronesian Games is no easy feat for the ten small island nations that are members of the Micro Games Council and come together to compete every four years in up to 15 sports sanctioned by the Council.
The host entity must rely on hundreds of volunteers as well as the financial support of its nation and, in the case of Yap, its state, to ensure the success of the event that brings 2,000 or more participants and spectators together for two weeks.
But it takes more than just the financial commitment of the host country. Sponsors and grants must be obtained to provide equipment, uniforms, training, building materials, shipping, food and other supplies.
For the 2018 Micro Games being held in Yap from July 15 to 27, the FSM National Olympic Committee applied for and received grants from sports federations and foundations worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. At the same time, Yap’s Organizing Committee launched a sponsorship campaign that provides companies with high-visibility marketing opportunities during and after the Games.
“We began by identifying the companies, organizations and individuals that had the ability to provide cash or gift-in-kind donations ranging in value from a few hundred to several thousand dollars,” said Liyon Sulog, CEO and Co-chair of the 2018 Micro Games Organizing Committee. “Then we put together five different levels of sponsorship, each with benefits that would put the sponsors’ names front and center.”
The result of many months of letter writing, meetings and negotiations is a stellar list of committed sponsors beginning with partners Matson, Triple B Forwarders and Palau Shipping at the exclusive GOLD level that provides a minimum of $75,000 in cash and much-needed shipping services.
Next is the SILVER level with Diving Seagull, Inc., FSM Telecom, National Fisheries Corp., Vital FSM Petro Corp. and Yap State Public Service Corp. providing $50,000 to $74,999 worth of services, products and cash.
At the SUPPORTING sponsor level of $10,000 to $24,999, Coca-Cola and Foremost Foods, Inc. and Hornet Sports are providing non-alcoholic beverages and water bottles for the athletes and coaches. United is also a key partner assisting with getting the teams to and from the island.
“When we began down this road of sponsorships,” said Francis Itimai, Co-chair of the Organizing Committee, “we were not experienced in how it works and had no idea what to expect or if we would be able to attract any sponsors at all. It was slow going at the beginning, but at the end we actually had companies vying for the Gold level and some asking us to add a Platinum level!”
“We are grateful and honored by the generosity of the FSM national government and the Yap legislature as well as all of our sponsors, the International Olympic Committee, Oceania National Olympic Committee, Micro Games Council, FSMNOC, the sports federations and foundations, the Chinese and Australian governments and the many individuals, small businesses and volunteers including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ Helping Hands volunteers that have come forward to assist us in making this event a memorable one for the athletes,” Sulog added. ”After all, at the end of the day the athletes are what it’s about.”