KINGSTON, Jamaica – 2018 was that year in sport that you went, WOW!
Well there was the Men’s FIFA World Cup where France took the coveted title. Kylian Mbappe, now the world’s most expensive player, was the clear star of the event. He literally took the world by storm.
Well, there was also a host of sexual abuse scandals. Gymnastics, Football, Hockey, Golf and the WWE were the sporting disciplines affected.
E-sport and gambling were two areas of sport business that jumped out as major areas of commercial activities. See how these will turn sport over in another three years or so.
International cricket was played in Pakistan and teams have slowly begun to return there; while in the West Indies, the region hosted a successful ICC Women’s World Championship.
In 2019, for the first time in 16+ years, Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell, Kerron Stewart and host of other track and field stars won’t be on the track. The IAAF World Championships in Qatar will see a mix of stars on the track and certainly in the field. The jumpers (long and triple) have so far signaled it will be a series of hotly contested rivalries.
The #ReggaeGirlz are in the Women’s World Cup for Football and Jamaica will reunite with France for another (football) historical occasion. June 9, 14 and 18 are the dates to look out for.
The Netball World Cup in Liverpool is another event where Jamaica’s mettle will be tested.
What then should Jamaica focus on for 2019 and beyond as sporting events that will bring some well-needed attention to the island as a sporting destination.
- Improve the support for the Kingston City Marathon and the Reggae Marathon
- Review the sporting facilities and upgrade and refurbish where necessary to host events that brings the best ROI
- Use the TEF resources to improve towns that have these venues
- Ministry of Sport should invest in training and capacity building for ALL sporting federations – technical, human resources, financial and marketing
- Employ a Sport Planner
- Clean up all the “walls of fame” and act quickly on the sport museum (I know this is in progress)
- Continue with the training of athletes making them more aware of their rights on and off the field
- Bring back Jamaica Sport to plan events geared simply at making money
I am still of the view that Sport can bring us a considerable amount of earnings if we can have the will to make hard decisions about the industry. The benefits will be great. Events are managed by people. When events make money, people earn. It is a cycle. #GetInTheGame