'Big Deal' moment

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

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KFC Jamaica has announced a partnership with Jamaican football sensation Leon Bailey ahead of the launch of the company's World Cup marketing campaign, in which Bailey will feature prominently.

Bailey, who plays professionally for Bayer Leverkusen in the German Bundesliga, will star in marketing campaigns for KFC Jamaica's time Winner Box meal offer and its flagship Big Deal, set to launch within the next week.

The partnership will also see KFC teaming up with Bailey, Bailey's brother Kyle Butler, and the Phoenix All-Star Academy, as they embark on plans to give back to the community here in Jamaica.

Bailey first honed his skills at Phoenix All-Star Academy, owned and operated by Bailey's father Craig Butler, and where Bailey's brother Kyle, who recently signed to German Bundesliga club Fortuna Dusseldorf, also came up through.

Bailey's love for football, as well as his skill set, grew rapidly, and at the age of 12 ,the elder Butler decided it was time for young Bailey, along with brother Kyle, to move to Europe to pursue the sport professionally. The footballer's talent has caught the attention of numerous football clubs including Manchester United, Chelsea, and his current team Bayer Leverkusen.

“KFC Jamaica has always been a supporter of youth development through sports and Leon Bailey is the embodiment of development through football,” said Andrei Roper, brand manager for KFC Jamaica.

Bailey's success has garnered the support and adoration of Jamaicans globally. Restaurants of Jamaica, owners and operators of KFC locally, is the first and only Jamaican corporate entity that Bailey, Butler and Phoenix All-Star Academy have so far partnered with.

Bailey, Butler and the Phoenix camp have already begun discussions with KFC to give back to Cassava Piece, from which Bailey originally hails, as well as the wider community, through sports development.

“Bailey has big plans in the near future, both in his career on the field and here in Jamaica off the field,” said Roper. “KFC is here to support his vision for his community and Jamaica in any way that we can.”

Bailey's professional football career began in Belgium at Koninklijke Racing Club Genk (KRC Genk), scoring his first goal for the team in November 2015. His talent and performance throughout the season saw Bailey top-scoring for the club in 2015 and being awarded the Belgian Young Footballer of the Year for the 2015-2016 season.

Bailey's success continued into the 2016-2017 football season, in which his goal scored against Rapid Wien in September 2016 was recognised as the Top Goal of the season.

Bayer Leverkusen have benefited significantly from the addition of Bailey to their starting line-up with his Champions League debut early last year when the team faced Atletico Madrid. By the end of the 2017-2018 football season, Bailey scored 12 goals over 34 games, which played a key role in Bayer Leverkusen's fifth- place finish in the Bundesliga.

Most recently Bailey has been linked to a possible move to Spanish football giants Real Madrid.

KFC added that Jamaicans should expect big things from the KFC-Bailey-Phoenix Academy partnership in the future. “Leon is a 'BIG DEAL' in the truest sense. The sky is the limit for him, and KFC Jamaica is proud to be a part of his growth and ascension both on and off the field,” Roper added.

“This partnership between KFC Jamaica and Leon is very exciting, and one that we plan to bring to life in a big way, not just on television and in traditional media, but in the digital and social media space, at our KFC restaurants and in the community.”