Published: Newsday, August 19th, 2015
The Next stage of life for Tobago FC Phoenix 1976 includes joining the United States based Playbook Management International (PMI) family.
PMI has partnered with Tobago FC Phoenix 1976 Club Director Terry Williams to develop the new direction and branding for the Caribbean football club. The new partnership took effect on July 1, 2015.
PMI, led by American executive Michael Hitchcock, owns and operates the Fort Worth Vaqueros FC minor league football club. Additionally, PMI holds ownership stakes in professional English club Alfreton Town FC and the Professional Futsal League. PMI utilises sports technology products such as the PMI Player Marketing System, a cloud-based player marketing platform that will be used to market Tobago FC Phoenix 1976 players to clubs around the world.
Williams said the partnership with Hitchcock and PMI serves as a dream come true for the island- based club.
“I can remember the vision of four young boys back in 1974, clearly as it was yesterday and approximately 38 years later, that vision has manifested,” Williams said. “I am indeed thankful that Mr Michael Hitchcock and the team at Playbook Management International shared our vision and took the opportunity to partner with us to further develop and promote the sporting discipline of football in our beautiful island of Tobago.
“Over the years, Phoenix has produced a cadre of players that had the opportunity to represent their country with pride on the Trinidad and Tobago National Team. Phoenix also boasts the birthplace of international football player Dwight Yorke, as he attended our academy from the tender age of approximately seven.
He further went on to the National Team from the approximate age of 15.” PMI will bring its knowledge of American sports management principles, technology, marketing, sales and global network of contacts to Tobago. The newly formed partnership will allow for shared ideas, training, players and sponsorships between Texas, Tobago and England.
PMI’s goals for Tobago FC Phoenix 1976 include reaching the highest level of football in the Caribbean, growing the club’s successful youth academy and creating opportunities for the Tobago football players to play internationally.
Hitchcock said Tobago has become a special place to him on a personal level due to the people, the food and the culture.
“On a professional level, I believe in Tobago and feel that there is a great business opportunity.
It’s football in paradise and we have an opportunity to connect Tobago Football to the world,” Hitchcock said. “Our vision is to become the top football club in the Caribbean. It will take time and lots of hard work but we know that there is a great opportunity to build something very special in Tobago. Terry and the Tobago FC Phoenix 1976 Staff have done an incredible job with the club. We plan to bring additional resources to build on the solid foundation that has been created.
“Full credit to Terry Williams for having the vision and ambition to take this club to the next level; we look forward to being a part of it. The future is bright for football in Tobago.” Through Match Day Five, Tobago FC Phoenix 1976 is currently unbeaten since the start the Trinidad and Tobago National Super League.