Dominos may be known for fast food but lately they’re becoming synonymous with basketball.
Last week it was announced Domino’s Pizza would be the title sponsor of the 2009 local men’s basketball league.
Before that the company had sponsored the Lady Heels basketball team. That squad won the inaugural Women’s Cup competition, came second in the regular season and lost in the finals of the national women’s league.
The Domino’s Pizza Men’s Basketball League, as it is properly called, got underway last weekend.
An opening ceremony was held in which all the teams came out in their uniforms and awards from last season were given out.
In addition the first game of the season went off between the DHL Wolves and the Esso Blazers.
The 14-team league is split up into two groups. Eight squads are in division one while six sides are in division two.
Division one plays Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays while division two plays two games on Monday evenings.
The next set of games is tonight as George Town battles Silver Bullets at 6:15pm before Shaolin faces Colombia at 7:15pm.
Games are played from 6:15pm at the CIBA Court on Eastern Avenue.
Among the more notable sides in division two is the Digicel Demons. The Demons were runners-up last year, losing in the finals to team Colombia (who were promoted to division one).
In division one all eyes are on George Town Sports Club. The squad are defending champions and have won the league for the last five years straight.
Domino’s Pizza managing director Joel Jefferson said the company was eager to get onboard.
‘We saw the league had no sponsor going into this season and with the economic situation the way it is we wanted to step up and help the league.
‘Then again a chance to help out in such a big way likely wouldn’t happen again. I’m just happy we were in a position to help.’
Then again Domino’s are no strangers to local basketball. In addition to sponsoring the Lady Heels – which they have done for many years – the company has also sponsored the Shaolin men’s team and a number of Cayman contingents that have gone overseas for competitions.
Among the more notable trips they’ve sponsored are the players on their way to the Island Games and a trio of Cayman players – in Collin Anglin, Collin Bodden and Dwight O’Garro – going off to Mexico.
For Jefferson the company sees sponsoring local hoops as a high priority.
‘Every year the company has always made it a point to sponsor a team. Basketball is a good outlet for locals and we’re proud to be part of it.’
The league has had a number of title sponsors over the years. The biggest of which was Digicel, who had the court named after them at one stage in addition to sponsoring the men’s league.
It’s not clear whether Domino’s will be a major sponsor going forward but at least they are committed for at least one season.
In any case, Jefferson sees the company working with local basketball for the long haul.
‘I see it being a long-term thing. This league is the flagship of local basketball.’
CIBA Fundraising Committee Chairman Deon Ebanks was pleased at the news of Domino’s sponsorship.
Ebanks, who also coaches youth teams, said their contribution should make a big difference.
‘I commend Domino’s Pizza on their recent sponsorship of the CIBA men’s national league. It is encouraging to see companies giving back to the community despite a global economic downturn this year.
‘I thank Domino’s for their contribution and look forward to an exciting basketball season this year.’