TSTT to invest over TT$10M in Carnival 2008

TSTT is investing more than $10 million in Carnival 2008. Chief Marketing Officer William Powell noted that TSTT’s continuing support for the national festival came even in the wake of “severe financial constraints” faced by the company in the past year.

Speaking at the official launch of TSTT’s Carnival 2008 initiatives, held on January 3 at the 51° Lounge in Port of Spain, Powell said the company’s investment would benefit everyone, including artistes, pan-men, traders, food and beverage vendors, transport contractors and media companies. In addition, the bmobile and Blink brands will be associated with over 50 national and private promoter events. “For us, these events are important to building the Trinidad and Tobago brand through its Carnival product,” Powell said.

TSTT’s new, world-class broadband network – Blink Broadband – has brought Carnival 2008 closer to persons here and abroad by facilitating such tasks as online bookings to the purchase of costumes. Blink Broadband will also make one of the biggest shows of the season, the International Soca Monarch and Groovy Soca Monarch Competition, accessible across the world via Internet streaming.

An excited Powell said one of the highlights of Carnival 2008 for TSTT will be a collaboration with Sony Ericsson, which will see the local launch of a customised handset pre-loaded with bmobile electronic entertainment content provided and endorsed by Machel Montano and HD.

“The Sony Ericsson W580i is unrivalled in its class and our vendor partner has recognised the similarities between their expertly crafted handset and our supremely entertaining festival and artiste,” he said.

In addition to the bmobile Buzz entertainment, the handset will function like a Sony Walkman, featuring music recognition software, camera and video recording, games and blogging capabilities. This limited, special edition handset will be launched soon.

To add even more excitement to the Carnival celebrations, TSTT has started a new promotion, “Buzz and Win”, which will run until January 24. By simply using their mobile phones to access the Buzz entertainment portal and downloading the latest Carnival-related ring tones, wallpapers, animations or games, bmobile customers become eligible to win fabulous weekly prizes. These include Island People Carnival costumes, tickets to the best fetes, MP3 players and Bluetooth headsets.

Powell explained that TSTT has also been working behind the scenes to strengthen the communications technology that supported the intense, non-stop, pulsating energy of Trinbago Carnival. He said the company has started building its fourth national mobile network overlay.

Powell added: “This network operates on an entirely new frequency that will take advantage of the features in quad-band mobile phones that will improve the service for all users, and help accommodate the thousands of visitors coming here for Carnival. We want to enable them to easily share their wonderful Carnival experiences with others back in their respective home countries.”

The official launch of TSTT’s Carnival 2008 initiatives was attended by a wide cross-section of the media, who also heard from some of TSTT’s partner promoters. One of these was George Singh, chief executive officer of Southex – promoter of the popular Chutney Soca Monarch Competition, in which $4 million in prizes is at stake this year.

Singh said in the four years that bmobile has been supporting the competition it has grown by leaps and bounds and added that this year’s edition would be “the largest Indo Caribbean event in the world” and would feature spell-binding special effects.

The Carnival launch also featured scintillating performances by some of TSTT’s partner artistes like Bunji Garlin, Raymond Ramnarine of Dil E Nadan, Lil Bits and Umi Marcano.

Before the start of the launch, a minute’s silence was observed in memory of the late Terry Joseph – culture and entertainment journalist, publicist and adviser.


Key Carnival 2008 events under TSTT sponsorship:

National Calypso Monarch National Panorama competition

Charitable/Education fundraisers at: UWI Pearl and Bunty Lara Foundation QRC Trinity College Fatima College St Mary’s College

Tobago events: Soca Spree 2 Tobago House of Assembly Queen and Calypso Show Roxborough Queen Show

Traditional Calypso Tents such as: National Action Cultural Committee Calypso Revue Icons Calypso Tent with Weston Rawlins

Youth Events: Synergy Soca Star Soca School Tour

And: Soca in b Square, the hugely popular free lunchtime concerts in Woodford Square Island People mas band Chutney Soca Monarch International Soca Monarch and Groovy Soca Monarch competition