First Steps to World Cup 2007
Stabroek News
October 7, 2001

On October 1 the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) took one of the first big steps on the road to hosting World Cup 2007 with the release of former Chief Marketing Executive of the WICB, Chris Dehring to the post Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Windies World Cup 2007 Inc.

Mr Dehring has four and half of years of distinguished service, seconded initially to set up the WICB's full time commercial operations. He was a principle architect in the development and presentation of the WICB's successful bid to the ICC in June 1998, which won the Caribbean's right to host this prestigious and lucrative event and was a member of the ICC team which negotiated the mega?million broadcast and sponsorship rights deal with the World Sport Group and NewsCorp for the cricket World Cups in 2003 and 2007.

The marketing department's success under Mr Dehring's leadership is ironically evident in the criticism from some quarters that there has been too much emphasis on marketing within the WICB. Mr Dehring's response has been that the marketing activity has the singular goal of financing and promoting the development of West Indies cricket. Indeed, the Sky Deal, the largest broadcast rights deal in the history of the Caribbean, major sponsored programmes such as the Shell Cricket Academy, Busta Cup and Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket and the tremendous growth in gate receipts, all resulting from the work of the department, have aided the development of West Indies cricket.

An investment banker by profession and founder of one of Jamaica's most successful indigenous financial institutions while still in his 20's, Mr Dehring, has been able to build an effective WICB marketing operation within a short time. There were significant strides for example, in areas such as the promotion of cricket tournaments in the Caribbean through partnerships with sponsors, merchandising, and the broadcasting of regional and international cricket.

The WICB and its international partners for World Cup 2007 are therefore confident of Mr Dehring's ability to take on the task of steering the World Cup ship safely into 2007.

Prior to the appointment of the WWC Board, an Interim World Cup 2007 Committee was also appointed to oversee the activities of WWC. The Interim Committee comprises: WICB President, Wes Hall, vice?President, Val Banks and Directors? Stephen Alleyne and Chetram Singh along with Mr Dehring.

Major objectives for Phase 1 of the WWC Operations include the development of a 5?year project plan and the setting up the framework for the operations of the World Cup management company that will eventually function from various locations throughout the region. In this first phase the company will also be negotiating the details of the World Cup Host Agreement with the ICC and creating a blue print for stadium redevelopment to assist countries that are undertaking such projects to meet the required standards

Heading the list of key activities is consultation with stakeholders in Windies World Cup 2007. These include territorial cricket boards, the American Cricket Council, Caribbean governments, the Caribbean private sector, the ICC and the Global Cricket Corporation who are the media rights holders to World Cup 2003 and 2007.

Mr Dehring also sees a need for consultation with a wide range of professionals with experience in various aspects of planning and managing a successful global sporting event of this magnitude. Organisations such as FIFA, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) will be included in this consultative process.

Windies World Cup 2007 is the largest single event ever undertaken by our region, with significant opportunities not just for cricket, but the economic prosperity of the Caribbean. The sale of intellectual property rights, tourism and sponsorship is expected to generate over a half billion US dollars for the region during the 6 week tournament, with the general activity surrounding possibly being multiples of that. The world will be watching, with a global cumulative TV audience for the 2007 World Cup estimated at 3 billion persons. It is very important that we dedicate resources today so that we can reap success six years hence.