Monday, February 23, 2009

Origin Oman Goes Poolside

Origin Oman, the government-run buy local campaign was a premier supporter of the recent British School Muscat (BSM) Swim Meet. According to David Rogers, BSM’s Head Swim Coach, the meet attracted over 175 entries from swimmers across Muscat as well as members of the Oman National Youth Development Swim Team.

Coach Rogers went on to say: “This was a major accomplishment for us, the squad has been training very hard and Thursday saw us come up against some very stiff competition and the team produced a number of outstanding performances. We were particularly thrilled to welcome the Oman National Youth Development Swim Team who added real value to this important swim meet. We also welcomed Origin Oman’s support. I’ve attended a number of the campaign’s initiatives and I think the concept of buy local is absolutely fantastic. We were delighted to help the campaign get its message out to a diverse and truly international audience.”

“Sport embodies the performance culture values of the Origin Oman campaign. Dedication, focus and the desire to win are some of the attributes intrinsic to success in promoting local businesses,” comments Ibtisam Al Faruji, Origin Oman’s Marketing Director. Al Faruji added: “Our involvement in the recent BSM Swim Meet gave us an opportunity to demonstrate Origin Oman’s commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of young people by encouraging involvement and participation in sport in general and swimming in particular.”

While buy local campaigns have been around for generations, the idea behind Origin Oman is to get people to think more about where their Rials are being spent and what it means to the sultanate from an economic, community and environmental angle to buy locally made goods and services. “We’re constantly looking for new opportunities to introduce consumers, businesses and government agencies to locally made goods,” said Al Faruji, “Indeed, premier local sporting events like the BSM Swim Meet provide us with an excellent outlet for brand exposure to an audience that will definitely appreciate the relevance and importance of buying local,” says the Origin Oman Marketing Director.

Spending cash in the sultanate does not only support the shop or producer selling the items, the benefits touch livelihoods much further along the line. Given the current global economic situation the Origin Oman team wants people to make more effort to support local manufacturers and producers. “If we don’t support local businesses one day they won’t be there – at the moment we’re spoilt for choice,” says Hamida Al Balushi, Origin Oman Co-ordinator.

In general, business owners see buy-local campaigns as an easy sell. According to Al Faruji: “The Omani public and here I’m referring to people of all nationalities, is highly receptive to the message, and even if many people may not initially consider whether they’re buying locally made goods and services, all it takes is a gentle reminder for them to change their spending habits. In this regard, the Origin Oman branding at the BSM Swim Meet caused quite a stir and it’s great that youngsters got to know about the campaign.”

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