TelEm Group CEO Kendall Dupersoy pens an agreement with St. Maarten Yacht Club’s Regatta Foundation General Manager Michele Korteweg and TelEm Group CCO Michiel Parent, for the company to become the exclusive telecommunications provider for the prestigious annual event.
POND ISLAND–TelEm Group has been named the official telecommunications provider for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 2020.
The announcement was made on Tuesday, during a sponsorship signing ceremony between St. Maarten Yacht Club, the organisers of the event, and TelEm Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kendall Dupersoy.
TelEm Group and the St. Maarten Yacht Club consider their relationship as more of a partnership than a sponsorship because of their shared goal to profile the Caribbean’s premier sailing event internationally to the benefit of the island and its people, and St. Maarten tourism generally, said TelEm on Thursday.
Dupersoy said an appeal was made to the company to provide telecommunication services for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta when they found themselves without its usual support for this year’s historic anniversary event.
“I spoke to my commercial team and it was clear that coming in with only two weeks before the start of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta would present us with some major challenges, but it was evident that the organisers were in need of a telecommunications provider and we are deeply honoured to now be part of such an important event that means so much to tourism in the St. Maarten and the boating community internationally,” said Dupersoy.
He said technicians and engineers are busy in the field putting customised infrastructure in place that will utilise the company’s mobile Wi-Fi networks and also TelEm Group’s state-of-the art fibre cable connections – providing the fastest broadband throughput on the island.
TelEm Group Commercial Director Michiel Parent said TelEm Group has already started its commercial branding as the official communications provider for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, including the launch of special top-up packages offering two gigabytes of free data with the purchase of tickets to the event’s headlining shows on Saturday featuring Inner Circle and Sunday featuring Flo Rida, respectively.
Tickets for both shows will also be available at the TelEm Group location on Pond Island in Philipsburg, as well as the branch in Simpson Bay.
“It will be up to us to keep the various teams of volunteers from all over the world connected to each other and to the event and also to provide the cleanest, most reliable data and voice services to sailors and members of the public taking part in [the event – Ed.] and also those spectating,” said Parent. “As a token of appreciation, all the sailors will be getting TelEm SIM cards and additional things to sweeten their introduction to our company.”
Parent said not only would the customised telecommunications infrastructure have to deal with the usual capacity in the Simpson Bay area during peak hours of the day, but would now have to accommodate the thousands more users making demands on the TelEm Group network to call home, stream, upload, send pictures and video around the clock.
The mobile network capacity in the area of the event has already been expanded. There will also be a Wi-Fi zone in the Regatta party area, which is another major undertaking for the new St. Maarten Heineken Regatta telecom provider, as the zone has to be built from scratch.
“We are doing our absolute best to make sure everything will happen on time and we have our best technical team on it,” said Parent.
Parent said this company’s last-minute involvement in the Regatta event is uncharted territory and the short time does not allow TelEm Group the luxury of extensive testing before the opening of the Regatta Village on March 2, and the start of the event proper on March 5.
“We have all confidence that a high level of communication for the event will be pulled off, but I know for sure that next year we will be fully prepared well in advance and we are already talking to the organisers about a long-term relationship,” added Parent.
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Director Michele Korteweg says she is most grateful to TelEm Group for their intrepid action in setting up the necessary telecommunication infrastructure with literally only days left before the staging of the Caribbean’s premier sailing event.
“We are happy to have TelEm Group on board and we are most thankful to Mr. Dupersoy for responding positively to our request to have TelEm as the official telecommunication provider for our 40-anniversary event this year,” continued Korteweg.
She said the importance of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is reflected in the impact that it brings to the economy of the island.
“As a non-profit organisation it is very important that our partners and sponsors recognise that we do this to bring people to the island. We want to create return visitors because they fall in love with the island. For others like TelEm to recognise the effort and join in that effort is very valuable to us,” said Korteweg.