On Tuesday, July 27, the Guanacasteca Sports Association (ADG- Asociación Deportiva Guanacasteca) debuted once again in the first division of the national soccer championship after a 17-year absence, an achievement that the people of Guanacaste longed for and celebrated with the trademark shout of “uy, uy bajura!” all over the peninsula. This great step also has the support of the supermarket chain Super Compro as the main sponsor.
“The process has been complicated. I started in July of last year with the clear objective in mind of taking the team to the first division. Guanacaste has high quality players,” commented ADG manager Jorge Caamaño.
“When you have a lineup that you want to take to the first division, you need to have at least 10 million [colones] a month (about $16,000). With our team making less than 5 million [colones] a month (about $8,000), we went through many economic hardships,” added Caamaño.
The team’s star scorer in the first division debut was Johan Condega. Approximately 60% of the players are from the province.
Most of the team members live in Nicoya, but until recently several players came on bicycle to central Nicoya from more remote communities, such as Liberia and Nosara. It was the only way for them to get to training sessions since they didn’t have money to pay for public transportation fares.
That is now a thing of the past. Since the tournament began, Super Compro has been supporting the ADG with whatever they need for food, transportation, equipment and other needs that arise in this championship.
Thanks to the sponsorships, the ADG has been able to maintain a clubhouse where players from the most remote communities currently live.
“This financial support allows us to be up-to-date on salaries, food, hydration, a massage therapist on the team and uniforms. Soccer isn’t just the 90 minutes of the game. We need to pay for fields to train, pay rent to the communities, buy medications, fruits,” Caamano commented.
The association has also used these funds to inspire young boys and girls in the province to play sports. For now, it has modernized the Chorotega Stadium in Nicoya with new dressing rooms, press offices and broadcast booths, among other modifications.
In addition to supporting the team with resources, the supermarket chain will sell Guanacasteca products in its stores. “We will also be selling ADG accessories at Super Compro for those who like to support the most popular team in the area,” said Ignacio Sequeira, marketing manager for the GESSA Corporation, the business group that owns this supermarket, as well as Peri and Saretto.
Super Compro wants to see Guanacasteca grow, and this dream was born long before the team made the jump to the first division.
“Even for months before the ADG was promoted to the first division, we were in negotiations to implement a sponsorship with them,” added Sequeira.
Currently, Super Compro has 22 points of sale in the Chorotega region and employs approximately 421 people. In addition, it provides support to mayors offices, social organizations and entrepreneurship in education and cultural projects.
Although the chain owns supermarkets outside of Guanacaste, its main focus is on supporting development in the province. That’s why every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it offers discounted products that promote savings for Guanacastecans.
Guanacasteca’s debut in the first division ended in a 1-1 tie against Sporting FC, and fans are anxiously awaiting the next game.
This Saturday, August 7, the team will play against Guadalupe, and they will do so for the first time as the home team, with the Chorotega Stadium as the venue.