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Advertising Caribbean

Global Hackathon targets software developers & graphic designers

ATLANTA, Georgia – Software developers and graphic designers in the Caribbean will have access to BlinkSky’s signature technology event, dubbed ‘Blinkathon’ this July 16 – 30.

In hosting the first annual hackathon event, BlinkSky, the world’s premier digital gifting and payments platform, will host under the theme, ’Payments for the Digital Economy’.  This event is poised to showcaseindividuals and teams with great software skills and brilliant ideas.

Blinkathon 2021 will commence with a virtual kick-off show on Friday, July 16 and will be hosted by TV Presenter, Columnist and Entrepreneur, Paul C. Brunson. The show’s lineup will include 11 keynote speakers who are bullish on prominent and emerging payment trends that will drive digital payments in a post pandemic world.

The industry keynote speakers will come from Banking, Crypto, Entertainment, Government and Remittance sectors. The two-hours kick-off show is expected to be fun and filled with great payments and technology insight, along with digital giveaways for Blinkathon 2021 participants.

The global event seeks to connect a diverse pool of technology talent, providing they are passionate about groundbreaking solutions. The event will allow this diverse pool of young folks to network with other business and industry leaders while they will be able to promote their talent and brand to hundreds of other entrepreneurs and developers.

The Founders of BlinkSky, Mark Chambers and Yasmine Williams concur that, “the challenge is to unleash best-in-class innovation, while seeking to accelerate the progress of global digital payments.”

Blinkathon 2021 is free to all participants. It will be hosted virtually via Devpost from
July 16 – 30, to ensure the safety and accessibility for all involved. Individual or teams of at least two to five people must visit www.blinkathon.com to get started with their registration through Devpost no later than Friday, July 16 in order to participate in this two-week hackathon event.

Blinkathon 2021 co-sponsored by BlinkSky and BlinkPaay will offer US$25,000 in total prizes for the best individual and team solutions. Several other gifts will be awarded that will have Latin American, Caribbean and African territory participants as targets.

Just over four years ago BlinkSky, Inc. was launched as a digital platform powering the Digital Gifting experience for 1200+ global premium retailers. To date, BlinkSky has made new footprints across Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.

-END-

About BlinkSky – It is the world’s first platform to securely create, manage and deliver digital stored value, direct to mobile, for instant redemption in store or online.

Contact: blinkathon@blinsky.com

Categories
Athletes

VISUAL VIBE FORECASTS GROWTH IN THE VIDEO BOARD BUSINESS IN JAMAICA

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Digital advertising has been a way of getting messages noticed. Although this method of advertising has been around for more than two decades, the last two years has shown the biggest growth in the business.

In a time when research has shown that 70 per cent of mobile technology use shared videos, 72 per cent of businesses says video has improved their conversion rate; the same research brought to you by Single Grain says 52 per cent of consumers says watching product videos makes them more confident to purchase a product.

In 2018 in the United States, almost $700 million was spent in outdoor advertising on LED screens across major cities. The forecast for global growth is estimated at $8.55 billion.

Allie McNab, Head of Visual Vibe, says, “video Boards are here to stay, in fact they can be called outdoor television, sharing and co-existing in the advertising space which still have static board and tri-media.”

Allie McNab, Head of Visual Vibe Limited

Jamaica, not to be outdone has kept pace with the rest of the world has had outdoor television (video board) advertising for closer to two decades and some of the major players in the business, at the time, was Anbell Advertisers.

Over the last 16 years, Visual Vibe having entered the market, thinks the dynamism and impact of video board advertising “is second to none and is more versatile for ease of doing business,” says McNab.

McNab’s Visual Vibe has 13 boards islandwide. The locations he believes “captures the spots that are the heartbeat of the country.” There are eight spots in Kingston and the others are splashed across major towns, Spanish Town, Portmore, Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Mandeville. Check the locations here Locations (visualvibejamaica.com)

McNab, who hails from Montego Bay, always felt that rural towns were a must for these types of boards and the expansion plan is a work in progress.

Over the 16 years of operations, some of the most exciting moments captured on the screens were the people with pot covers following the success of Jamaica’s athletes participating in the Summer Olympic Games, World Championships, Boys and Girls Champs. Other relevant events were World Cup Football and when Tessanne Chin was crowned winner of The Voice in 2013. “People still talk about those moments,” he remarked.

Part of the mandate of McNab’s Visual Vibe is the education of the public on the latest trends and what is possible with the technology associated with the video boards. The team that he leads takes that responsibility very seriously as they engage their customers about the constant changing digital world. He wants the people to know that “digital is the new world language of communication and technology and this is the platform on which businesses will be conducted.”

Visual Vibe boasts a wide variety of clients, and the team is bent on new and innovative ways to maintain the current list; whilst building on its capacity to win over new clients.

The staff complement is a small yet efficient team of five, with three technically competent and sound technicians who provide content management and maintenance of the operation with support “on call” team members in each parish. The standard formats of the ads are MP4 for video and JPEG for still images.

The Visual Vibe Limited office is located in the heart of New Kingston and boasts the latest in digital technology. Contact (visualvibejamaica.com)

Categories
Athletes Caribbean Coaching Education Jamaica Leadership Management Media

Discussion: PATHWAY TO ELITE PERFORMANCE – TRACK AND FIELD

PATHWAY TO ELITE PERFORMANCE – TRACK AND FIELD

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The road to a successful career in track and field is not always smooth. Jamaica’s success at the regional and international levels has not made it any easier and so the current and next generation of athletes are in a great position to continue and enhance the rich tradition.

That said, the pressure to maintain is always a factor worth considering and the GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport, under the leadership of Principal, Maurice Wilson, is always focused on presenting opportunities for all round growth and development.

On Saturday, June 12, the institution, will host another discussion to offer solutions to a track and field’s athlete pathway to elite performance.

The panelists will come from:

  • Former, Jamaica Olympic Association President, Mike Fennell
  • Olympic Coach, Glen Mills
  • Agents – Adrian Laidlaw and Cubie Seegobin
  • Sport Medicine Expert, Dr Kevin Gwyn Jones
  • Lecturer, Marlon Gayle
  • Principal and Olympic Coach, Maurice Wilson
  • Sport Administrator, Olive McNaughton

Wilson thinks this discussion is important at this moment. “Athletes need to be armed with information to make better decisions. We also urge the team around them to be in a much better position to assist where applicable. A valuable part of each athlete’s team is a parent, who most times see themselves as onlookers. We want as many people as possible to know what entails on this journey,” said Wilson.

The panel will steer participants on what are some of the scenarios that could be encountered along the way from junior status to elite.

“GC Foster has hosted several discussions on sport in general over the last year and this one targeting track and field is of significance at this juncture,” noted Wilson.

Carole Beckford, Sport Marketing expert will moderate the session due to start at 6pm (Jamaica)/7pm EST. The session will be done via Zoom.

Categories
Athletes

HEROES OF COMEDY FOR HEROES OF JAMAICA

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s elite comedians will be on show this Saturday, May 29 to support the Jamaica Heroes Modernized (JHM) project.

Among the heavy-hitting comedy lineup are Oliver Samuels, Volier “Maffy” Johnson and Owen “Blakka” Ellis. The show is scheduled to start at 8pm EST, and stream live via the JamaicaNationalHeroes Facebook page.  

Oliver Samuels is among several Jamaican icons, who have endorsed and come out in support of the JHM. See a full list on www.JamaicaNationalHeroes.com

Oliver, Volier, and Owen – Elite Comedians of Jamaica

The show will be seeking to attract support from the Jamaicans at home and abroad using pledges to fund the program that will be highlighted in a 10-part docuseries over the next year. “No pledges of cash will be refused.” The event will be simulcast on YouTube, Facebook and Zoom.

“There is an emphasis that needs to be placed on us telling our own stories. The JHM project seeks to embrace that.” stated Charles “Mark Phi” Smart, Executive Producer for JHM.

Smart, who is on a mission to use what he sees as cultural pride of community, to “empower independence through Jamaica’s national legacy.” Centered around the revival and modernization of the portrayal of Jamaica’s national heroes; Smart who was most recently recognized for his George Floyd inspired body of work, ‘46 Pleas’, showcases a painting and docuseries dubbed ‘Conflicted Coward’, provided some insight into Jamaica Heroes Modernized project.

Smart noted that “we are reviving and modernizing the portrayal of Jamaica’s National Heroes with a 10-episode film series, original Jamaican music, fine art paintings, print collateral and a new digital presence

For the first time, we are aggregating and centralizing the stories of our heroes into a single Body of Work, chronologically highlighting their contributions to Jamaica’s emancipation and independence. To start, we have transformed the dull black and white sketches and photos of our heroes into colorful artistic portrayals to make them more relatable; and their stories more relevant to modern society,” he explained.

Categories
Athletes

NEKI MOHAN NAMED FESTIVAL AMBASSADOR FOR REALVIBEZ FILM FESTIVAL 2021

Miami, FLORIDA – Award-winning journalist, Neki Mohan based in Florida, now CEO of her own Media and Consulting company, is named the Festival Ambassador for the inaugural RealVibez Film Festival 2021. https://realvibez.com/2021filmfestival/

Neki, was, for over a decade, an anchor for the ABC affiliate in Miami. Over that period, her reporting has taken her across the Caribbean, the US, and the world. She has interviewed celebrities at red carpet events, interviewed world leaders, and covered some of the biggest news stories across 10 TV stations in 5 cities. 

The inaugural virtual Film Festival will be held this August 25 – 27. Storytellers and filmmakers who have sport and entertainment entries will be allowed to showcase their material in the three-day online event.

The submissions should be 7 – 11 minutes in length and will be judged in four categories – feature, documentary, narration and musical.  Also getting a chance to be screened is a category for animation films of up to five minutes in length. The event will broadcast from a studio in Wynwood, the art district in Miami.

In accepting the role, Mohan says “I am so excited to highlight all the stories out of our diverse communities throughout the islands, the opportunity to tell our stories means they will exist long after we do!”

Award winning Journalist, Neki Mohan

CEO of RealVibez, Carole Beckford, who will also serve as Festival Director, said “Neki is an ideal choice. She epitomizes the best of the Caribbean and has had a global impact.”

Along with this endorsement, her role as festival ambassador includes:

·        Media appearances

·        Presentation on a panel at the Festival

·        Mentorship of a filmmaker

Neki was born in Brooklyn to West Indian parents but was raised in the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. She attended College in the US and earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Politics from the University of Maryland.

She has shared space in the journalism circle alongside other award-winning journalists such as Carole Simpson, Peter Jennings, David Brinkley and Sam Donaldson at ABC News Washington Bureau.  Her on-air career began in Jackson Mississippi and has taken her to Los Angeles, Cleveland and 2 decades in Miami.

Films to be submitted by July 31, 2021 via www.realvibez.com and entry fees start as low as $30.

Categories
Caribbean Entertainment Jamaica

BLUE MAHOE CAPITAL MAKES INVESTMENT IN KINGSTON CREATIVE

March 15, 2021 – Kingston, Jamaica Kingston Creative is set to receive $1 million JMD from Blue Mahoe Capital, an impact investment company based in Miami, Florida. The funding is part of Blue Mahoe Capital’s outreach to arts and entertainment businesses in the Caribbean, in which it aims to build capacity.

(L-R) Andrea Dempster-Chung, Executive Director; Doris Gross, Director – Kingston Creative and Carole Beckford, SVP, Blue Mahoe Capital

The first investment goes to Kingston Creative; a Jamaican NGO whose mission is to transform Kingston into the creative capital of the Caribbean. It already has implemented 65 street art murals, created signature art festival events like the Artwalk, trained over 4000 creatives and built two arts spaces including the Creative Hub at 107 Harbour Street.

“Many creatives have expressed to us the devastating effect of lockdown on their businesses, including widespread loss of income and layoffs across the cultural and creative industries, so this funding comes at a critical time. It helps us to keep creatives employed on arts projects like Paint the City and the Artwalk,” said Kingston Creative’s Executive Director, Andrea Dempster Chung.

Prior to the contribution from Blue Mahoe Capital, the non-profit had a target to raise $20 million JMD from the Diaspora, to provide matching financing for 30 more murals in the Downtown Kingston Art District and developmental programmes for creatives like Createch, which is partially funded under a 3-year $1.295 million USD agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

“The creative industries remain a priority for the Blue Mahoe team and we believe that businesses in the Caribbean with this focus should be supported. The products and services are an authentic representation of the people. We support the movement wholeheartedly,” says Vice President of Sport and Entertainment, Carole Beckford.

CEO, Blue Mahoe Capital, David Mullings has provided voluntary service to the organisation and helped to shape their strategy, as he currently sits on the Kingston Creative’s Global Advisory Board.

Categories
Advertising Entertainment FIlm

LIVE YOUR CREATIVE DREAMS WITH PURPLE PALMS IN WYNWOOD

Yoga

WYNWOOD, Florida – Would you believe there is one space that can accommodate art, live and recorded music, photo and video shoots. On occasions there are times when you can sample the delectable dishes of the Caribbean and Latin America. The vibe is always right for you to just “chill”; well, this place exists right in the middle of the Wynwood Arts District.

To add to that list of things to do, the space known as Purple Palm Creative offers creative producers and fans an opportunity to indulge themselves into a vibe that will last for a long time.

Steven Chung is the man in charge of the facility, and he designed the 1,700 square foot indoor space to facilitate who he calls the “real creatives in the business of entertainment.”

Housed in the middle of one of the most popular art districts in Florida, Chung also thinks that the space will also provide a new platform for creative thought leadership and unity to incubate, showcase and share innovations with like-minded creators and friends.

Among the other experiences, one can have access to jam sessions, exhibits, listening parties, vintage vinyl sessions, and a place for artists and artisans to promote their creations.

Chung is a Telly Award Winner and 4-time Grammy Nominee who also offers video editing and podcast production services in the space.

Miami is a city that has its finger on the pulse of everything entertainment and Purple Palm Creatives is the place where one can have that amazing feeling.

Now, on the outside, there is enough space to attend a food bazaar and be able to soak up the taste and smell of the variety of delectable dishes from across the world with a focus on the Caribbean and Latin America. Of course, there is always Jamaican food and drinks.

Purple Palms could not exist without the shared vision and generous support of Lombardi Properties and Soundlux Audio.

Book your time and space for anything creative now and support the work and time of Chung and his team. You may secure this information by emailing purplepalmscreative@gmail.com

In the meantime, they are on IG and Facebook.

See you soon!

Categories
Advertising Athletes Branding Caribbean Cricket Education Entertainment FIlm Jamaica Sport travel

BOOK ALERT: ABCs of Caribbean Sport, Marketing and Psychology

KINGSTON, Jamaica – “Sport deserves every bit of attention it can get on and off the field. Athletes need to be prepared for the mind games too,” that is the advice shared by Carole Beckford and Dr Olivia Rose Esperance in their latest collaboration.

The collaboration is shared in a book, ABCs of Caribbean Sport, Marketing and Psychology which is due out on shelves end of March.ABCs of Caribbean Sport

The 140-page publication dives deep into an industry in the Caribbean which has worked and can continue to work if the talent converts to economic activity (marketing); and how athletes and their teams can maximize earnings while being engaged in a process that takes you from any adversity to a winning attitude, via a positive mindset (psychology).

The project began when the two worked together for the 2018 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup which was held in Guyana, St Lucia and the final in Antigua. Rose was the sport psychologist assigned to the Windies Women, while Beckford was head of marketing and communications for Cricket West Indies. Both are on their third publication.

OliviaRose Esperance describes her contribution as “the timing is impeccable, as during the pandemic, sport is a means of escape and sport people can and should use this opportunity to be managed while building on their competitive portfolio. The two areas of sport are of great significance and written by Caribbean authors. I am proud of this project.”20191022_160558

Beckford believes “it is important to continue to share information about an industry that has contributed so much to the exposure of the region’s best in the global sporting world. The pool of sporting officials has not only grown in numbers, but in quality. There is so much more to earn from the business of sport.”

Both are supporters of student-athletes and their continued pursuit of excellence. “While the athletes continue to excel, management can do some more to create better synergies for business,” noted Rose Esperance.

The book will sell for J$3,000 and US$20. Locations will be known soon!

Patrons may support by ordering on Facebook at (1) ABCs of Caribbean Sport – Marketing and Psychology | Facebook

A virtual launch is scheduled for Wednesday, March 31.

Categories
Athletes

Towards a better Jamaica

Disclaimer: This was inspired by a Time Magazine article I read some years ago.

Social graces have declined significantly and now, more than ever, soft skills are needed. The resources of developing countries, like Jamaica, have been used in national security, health and education, but we should spare some for Social Development.

Here are some ways, we can all give back!

1. SUPPORT LEGISLATION: We should make it compulsory for every Jamaican from 14 years up serve a community group, non-for-profit organization or a sporting organization. This is an expansion of our National Youth Service
2. TAKE A TOUR: We should encourage families to take a tour of Jamaica, so we can see how our brothers and sisters exist/survive.
3. JOIN THE LIBRARY (online or the Physical one): This is an encouragement for all of us to read, this is in addition to the school texts…it is also a hint to Jamaican writers to write more of our own stories.
4. START YOUNG: Imagine if you wanted to be a great football player, you would start dribbling from as early as eight years old, well since so many of our social graces have declined, get in the game early. Eat out once in a while, visit a neighbor, attend church, go our of town to an event etc
5. KNOW HOW PARLIAMENT WORKS: Know who your political representatives are and what their roles are. In other words, re-enter the CIVIC world.
6. VOLUNTEER: Go to a nursing home, a hospital, a prison facility, a school in your community; offer your service Free of Charge
7. EXERCISE: Walk 20 minutes a day for three days a week. Obesity and Heart related diseases are top in the list of killers of “black” people
8. IGNORE YOUR AGE: Not because you are a little older than some, do from “1” to “8” and stick to it. Retirement should be dynamic
9. TURN YOUR DREAMS INTO REALITY: Pass on the knowledge you have and the world will be a better place. Share, Share, Share
10. PREPARE FOR THE WORST: At all times, expect the worst, but if you are prepared you will be able to handle the challenges.

Let’s work for a better JAMAICA.

Categories
Athletes

On becoming 52

The last year has been one of interesting twists and turns. And I was more or less ready. So let’s recap. In April 2019, I took some time… to relax my soul and spirit. Since 1998, I have been pretty much on the road in several high intensity jobs where I was constantly outing fires here, there and everywhere. I was like the fixer… well, that is what folks said.

Well, after all that, I needed a fix. So I took the time.

I had to admit to myself that I was burnt out, as for 21 years, I was in posts and organizations that required keen attention and effective management of people. I felt accomplished. In between that I wrote two books and started a third (which will hit the shelf by March 2021). But, boy, was I tired!

You see, burn out is real. It is a feeling, you have never felt before. But I took my time to step back from the hustle… and bustle. While, rest, for example, eight hours sleep was important, it was the brain that needed the most break for me. For the last year and a half, I did not write a speech for any senior official, first point of the break. I also, only took fun trips. I would also make my phone run out of charge from time to time and know that no one was depending on me to return a call.

Self care became way more important – so haircuts, spa days and long walks and drives, were on top of the list. I was refreshing the mind and spirit. I could feel it working. Sleep was now more comfortable and just a little longer. Meetings were set on my schedule. I just took the time.

Even with COVID on, I was managing the time better. Teaching/Lecturing provided a real escape. I really love teaching. I only teach what I know, so it was easy. Three adult groups stretching as far as the Americas. And the feedback was EXCELLENT. Coincidentally, last week (November 21) was the last session for the year which has turned out to be quite timely.

So here we are, on becoming 52, some real lessons for me… Life goes on. Keep a small but meaningful team around you. FAMILY is everything, so are friends! Have a glass of wine every now and again and read subject matters you have not read before.

Here’s to 52!