“We appreciate your consideration in sponsoring this event and also hope to encourage a long-term relationship between Beacon Insurance and cycling.”
That was what Michael Phillips wrote in his first letter to Beacon Insurance Company Limited on July 29, 1997, requesting sponsorship for the National Cycling Championships Road Race.
Fast-forward 20 years later and Phillips Promotions and Beacon are celebrating 20 years of hosting cycling events with the sixth annual Beacon Cycling on the Avenue event on October 4 from 7.30 pm.
Yesterday, at the launch of the event at Mike’s Bikes in Woodbrook, Phillips said he admires Beacon’s executive director and CEO Gerald Hadeed for his vision for cycling. “The discussion (between myself and Hadeed) was always based on ‘what can we do?’” Phillips said.
“I have had phone conversations where Mr Hadeed would have called me five o’clock in the morning and say ‘boy you see that stage of the Tour De France.’ Strangely enough he would have conversations with me saying ‘we going into some projects and one day we are going to get big enough that we could sponsor a team going to the Tour De France.’ Here it is you have someone dreaming about the potential of what his company can do.”
Phillips believes Beacon has increased the popularity of cycling in TT.
“I can say that this partnership has changed Trinidad and Tobago. People do not go by a single day and not see people on a bicycle, that was not so at the point in time (when Beacon started sponsoring cycling).”
Hadeed thanked Phillips, his family and his team for their integrity in hosting cycling events which has made the relationship between Beacon and Phillips Promotions stronger. Hadeed said, “Michael and his family, I don’t know what to say about them other than they have been great organisers. A lot of sponsors don’t get what they deserve basically because the promoter has to be an honest person. In the case of Michael Phillips and his family, they have been working hard at promoting Beacon and helping Beacon establish its brand. I want to say thank you Michael.”
Hadeed said Beacon will continue giving back to TT through sponsorship. “It is only fair that we return some of what we make and what we do to the people of Trinidad and Tobago, and I promise you, the media, and I promise Trinidad and Tobago to continue to do so.”
This year’s Beacon Cycling on the Avenue event will include 10 races on the night with the main 35-lap race for international, elite one, elite two and invitational cyclists closing the night’s proceedings. Norlandy Sanchez of Domincan Republic is aiming for a hat-trick of titles in this year’s main event. Juvenile, junior, women, masters, elite three and elite four cyclists will also compete on the night. The Beacon Cycling on the Avenue will end a busy period for cycling in TT, as the Republic Day Cycling Classic and the Tobago International Cycling Classic will he held days before the Beacon event.