Jamaica 2019: Sport Outlook

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.

Kylian Mbappe – I own no rights to this picture

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.

The World comes to the West Indies – November 2018

JAMAICA

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.

FOCUS

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

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RunLive partners with Kingston City Marathon

MIAMI, Florida: – Miami-based RunLive, one of the world’s first gamified social running platforms, has agreed to sign on as a partner for the Kingston City Marathon. Race Day is Sunday, March 17 in Kingston.

Founded by Mike Thompson and David Mullings, Jamaican entrepreneurs based in Florida, RunLive recently graduated from the leAD Sports Accelerator in Berlin, Germany.

“We originally planned to launch in Berlin first but could not pass up the opportunity to be part of Kingston’s first marathon” said Mike Thompson, a former Development Operations Engineer, who came up with the idea for the app 2 years ago.

David Mullings has been named as an Ambassador for the Kingston City Marathon and the RunLive team will help to drive visibility for the event via promotion in the app, posts on social media and bringing at least one Instagram running influencer to participate and share her experience with her followers. RunLive has over 135,000 followers on Instagram.

While plenty of other running apps with a social component do exist, most of them focus on mapping your run and tracking statistics but do not offer a way for runners to connect and compete in real-time.

HOW RunLiveStarted

“I was introduced to Mike by a Florida angel investor group to help him scale and was really impressed with his product. I committed to help raise capital and invest but got sucked in by his drive and the product roadmap” said co-founder David Mullings who is also a mentor with the Branson Center of Entrepreneurship Caribbean and Founder Institute Jamaica.

Co-Chair of Kingston City Marathon, Nicola Madden-Greig welcomes RunLive on Board – “We are pleased to have this new and emerging team partner with us for Kingston’s first certified marathon. We look forward to the reach this partnership can create, and we hope as the event progresses, we will add more participants.”

The app is currently available for iOS devices and the Android beta is scheduled to be released in late February. Investors include leAD Sports, which was founded by Klaus, Horst and Stefan Bente, grandsons of Adi Dassler, the founder of Adidas.

About RunLive

The RunLive app allows users to connect with runners across the world and run together in real-time for the ultimate running experience. Turn your sweat into sweet rewards when you earn RunCoins by completing challenges, logging runs and winning races. Learn more at ww.runlive.fit

About leAD

Klaus, Horst, and Stefan Bente are the oldest grandchildren of Adi Dassler. Together they founded the leAD Sports Accelerator and Adi Dassler International Family Office to revive their grandfather’s legacy. But they’re not alone. leAD is backed by an exclusive circle of international top investors from different areas that all have a strong foothold in the sports industry. Their objective is to support the visionary innovative strength of young founders with the same enthusiastic team spirit – and far beyond the accelerator program.

About Kingston City Marathon

What started out as the Kingston City Run six years ago, the event has now added a marathon to its existing 5K, 10K and half marathon course. The certification of the marathon by the IAAF/AIMS is significant and it identifies the value of an event like this in the Creative City of Kingston. For more go to www.kingstoncityrun.com or email kingstoncityrun@gmail.com

Press Contact:

David Mullings                        Carole Beckford

david@runlive.fit                    carole.beckford@gmail.com

407-513-2801                        + 1 876 566 3671

Logos at http://bit.ly/RunLive-Press e 2 A

Kingston City Marathon will enhance Kingston as a sport tourism destination

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Kingston’s hosting of its first IAAF/AIMS certified marathon on Sunday, March 17 is just another product that can serve as a great addition to its sport tourism product.

The marathon which is deemed appropriate in the wellness segment of the overall sport tourism product. Donovan White, Director of Tourism highlighted some of the global trends in his keynote address at the media launch of the Kingston City Marathon on Wednesday (January 16).

(l-r) Nicola Madden-Greig, Devon Samuels, Alan Beckford, Chris Jarrett, Donovan White.

The Director made some key points:

  • There were 830 million wellness trips in 2017, this was equivalent to 17 per cent of all tourism revenues
  • Wellness tourism is set to grow 7.5 per cent through to 2022
  • The estimated earnings from wellness travel is estimated to reach $919 billion by 2022
  • There is an average spend of $1,528 per trip for a wellness tourist, this represents 53 per cent more than the average tourist

“Jamaica now hosts two marathons almost four months apart, this is a clear opportunity,” according to the Director.

The Director was quick to point out the already established products of Kingston – great music, food and other exciting sporting events will be enhanced by the Kingston City Marathon, which he suggested that “marathons are a huge draw for sport tourists and have the potential to generate millions of dollars for the host city of Kingston.”

Race Ambassadors with Race Director

Co-Chair, Nicola Madden-Greig, in highlighting the announcements for this year’s running explained the partnership with the Miami Marathon where winners from both events will be entered in each other’s events free of charge. “Jamaica will exhibit and participate at this year’s Miami Marathon as part of our global outreach to encourage patrons to enter the Jamaican event in Kingston.”

Registration is on the www.kingstoncityrun.com link. Early bird registration ends on January 31.

The 5k will feature some of our younger generation – Holy Family Primary was in the house

#RunDiCity #FeelDiVibes fff

Come to Antigua

St John’s, ANTIGUA – When one hears of Antigua and Barbuda, there are a few things that come to mind. Cricket, Carnival and the Casual of the Caribbean. Antigua is that place you visit for the casual hide-a-way and where you get to experience peace and quiet, like no where else. I would hasten to add, only if you are a tourist. AntiguaFlagFlying

When you visit an island, it is ALWAYS good to find out the popular spots for food, fun and frolic (liquor) and the rest will flow (pun intended).  

The V.C. Bird International Airport is new and boasts spacious hallways. Coming off an international flight, you have access to a jet bridge, while if you fly the regional LIAT, you may have a short walk to the immigration hall. The process is quick and easy and the bag carousels, all five of them are secure, decorated with visual boards for your advertising pleasure. You tend to stand around long enough for network TV commercial break to get your bags. VC Bird InternationalOnce you clear that hall with bags, there is a paid taxi service provided by the state and buses for some of the well-established luxury hotels.

Here are a few places you should try to visit while in Antigua:

1.      Sheer Rocks – a chic and exquisite hang out shared with the Cocobay Resorts. The restaurant and bar, world-ranked, offer a sumptuous tapas menu and one the best made sugarcane mojito. Once you have viewed the sunset from the bar, you will want to go back over and over again SunsetSheerRocks

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2.      Beach Limerz – for the most sumptuous and tasty pan-fried snapper, this is the place to be. If you are lucky you may even see a few dolphins lurking around as I have been. The menu carries the delectable mix of the island’s favorites. Live music on a Sunday and Karaoke on a Thursday – two activities you will also enjoy. 20180223_140922

3.      Tradewinds – the business hotel of the island perched on top of a hill, far from the maddening crowd. It offers a fine option for residents who may not want to cook on a Sunday. Their efforts at the Jamaican jerked chicken is commendable. The view from the dining room offers a panoramic view of Dickenson Bay.

TradeWinds Hotel

4.      Café Shattoo – off Old Parham Road serves the coldest Heineken anywhere and, on a Friday, the fried pork with onions (you can ask for garlic bread) is well worth the stop. Seasoned fries are also on the menu and those are a must have. 

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5.      These days spa treatments are in and more and more people are taking time off to relax. I would recommend the Blue Waters Spa. The care there is top-class and the ride in the cart over to the spa offers a short tour of the elite resort.

20180602_122301-e1537908458174.jpgIn a 14 miles long by 11 miles wide space, 108 square miles – (Antigua), it is hard not to meet a few good people and there are lots of other things to do around. This is the island where there’s a beach a day. Visit Antigua, when you get a chance!  

#OneLove

BRING BACK JAMAICA SPORT

ON A COUCH SOMEWHERE – Back in 2012 there was a group called Sport Tourism Implementation Committee (STIC) and in 2014, there was Jamaica Sport. What was important, even with the name change, the group was assembled to provide the framework to sustainably develop sports tourism as well as leverage local and international sports events to increase visitor arrivals to the island.

National StadiumThe group was chaired by Chris Dehring with a mix of public and private sector sport officials to include skill sets of content development, planning, marketing, operations, venue development, legal to name a few. The combined years of experience could be compared to any other global sporting body and could possibly outscore given the resources, which were available at the time.

Here is a release from the Ministry of Tourism http://www.mot.gov.jm/news-releases/new-‘jamaica-sport’-entity-launched-develop-sports-tourism-locally

Jamaica sport logo

During the tenure, we worked closer with the Jamaica Tourist Board, the agency with responsibility to market Jamaica’s Brand and made considerable leap into hosting events which at the time satisfied steadily, the mandate set:

  • Growing sport in communities
  • Employing and/or using sport officials to manage events
  • Attracting tourists to Jamaica (heads to beds)
  • Considerable media attention
  • Strengthening and deepening Jamaica’s position in the Sport Tourism market

In 2015, with the limitations we had on the immigration form, the JTB was able to capture this information

Jamaica Sport

The point here is, there was tremendous potential. It was also indicated that Sport Tourists have considerable higher spend per day and will return for a vacation after. Those trends have been reported globally, so we were on to something.

Jamaica’s rich sporting history was not to be put aside, as with the consistent excellent performances at international competitions (Summer and Winter Olympics, World Championships, Major League Soccer,) there was a steady build up of the curious and discerning tourist. What was also trending, if only for a specific time, was film crews from all over who would visit to film documentaries, photo shoots, commercials and to attend CHAMPS.

The Jamaica Tourist Board has the records of the events. While the major sporting disciplines were part of the mix, the team offered some insight on what happens when targeted and network sport like Karate, Beach Volleyball, Surfing and Badminton were supported. See excerpt of a report below:

Since November 2014, an investment of US$258,000 was made toward sporting events including: CONCACAF, Netball, Badminton, Track & Field (JIIM), ITF Tennis, Beach Volley, Cricket (CPL & WI v. AUS), Masters Football, Surfing, Golf, Endurance Running, Regional Swimming, and UANA Water Polo Championships.  This generated over 20,000 room nights (4,000 heads to beds) with an overall economic impact of approximately US$6M.

Fast forward to 2016 when Jamaica Sport was dissolved (without warning), we are still struggling to find a strong hold on how to market Jamaica as sport tourist destination.

As Dalton Myers suggested in this column, “maybe we not really ready” (I paraphrased); maybe we need to stop pretending that there is interest. I can’t help but think this is an opportunity missed (again).  Click here to read http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20180915/dalton-myers-we-are-not-ready-major-sporting-events

An outlook for opportunities could include events related to:

  • CHAMPS 2019 – March 26 – 30 – Kingston
  • World Championship 2019 (track and field)
  • Summer Olympic Games 2020
  • FIFA World Cup 2022

And here’s a reminder of why sport tourists visit a destination – to be active on and off the field/court or for nostalgia. Either way, Jamaica offers both. Let’s get this show on the road. #OneLove.

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ARTISTES ARE REQUIRED TO IMPROVE THEIR PERFORMANCES ALL THE TIME

This article wishes to compile a list of ideas for artistes who ply their business on stage for a living. Live shows are always a thing. Fans will travel just about anywhere in the world to see their favorite artistes perform. What that means is, they always expect the best. Mic with Lights

An artiste therefore needs to understand that to give the best, they must invest their time to “get their act together.”

It starts sitting with the management team, having accepted a show and the following must be done:

  1. Have an attorney look over the contract
  2. Ensure there is mutual agreement
  3. Number of persons to tour as part of the artiste’s party
  4. Submit list ahead of time to promoter
  5. Confirm air travel with classifications
  6. Confirm hotel with classifications
  7. Confirm ground transportation
  8. From airport
  9. From hotel to sound check
  10. From hotel to performance
  11. From hotel to airport for departure
  12. From hotel to a community service stop (if agreed)
  13. Decide on wardrobe
  14. Decide on media – to include exclusive where appropriate
  15. REHEARSE the set based on the market/audience to face
  16. Do the sound check
  17. Determine length of set without encore (this would have been in agreement)
  18. While on stage, ensure there is a stand for: Water; somewhere to hang clothes if the artiste decides to take off clothing; Have a back-up microphone where necessary

There are lots of other little things the Road Manager would have been able to determine based on research and would have discussed with the team. If there is a band involved ensure all band members are able to travel to the location, especially when going overseas. Ensure all visas are acquired before travel.  Stage

Performance must always be top-class

Artistes and athletes have the same type of jobs, they must “show up” on the day. There is no excuse for them. They must be ready once they are listed to perform. Live Shows must be about an experience. Ensure you are ready to deliver on that experience. The artiste must liken himself/herself to a sport star who is expected to win a race, score a goal, or score 40 points a game, or a touchdown. Patrons deserve better. Stage 1

Artistes should invest in knowing what their audiences want and deliver when required. Live Shows are the pathway to a fan outside of when they buy your music to hear you via a recording. Real artistes add more to their recordings and leaves a fan wanting more.

Artistes should NEVER short-change their live performance set by thinking they can perform without 1. sound check 2. rehearsal 3. research into what the audience history is – Your portfolio should be diverse enough to make the adjustments necessary.

The next article will look at personal branding, social media and how to use that to enhance their image.

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Track and Field – fan change or not?

Between 2002 and 2017, Jamaica’s track and field was on top of the world. The athletes consistently won medals at every major international meet and built and secured a reputation as “world beaters” in the 100, 200, 100 meters hurdles, 400 meters hurdles, 110 meters hurdles, to name a few and later in that 15-year span, field events made their own mark.
Jamaican Flag

In the absence of football being able to consistently perform at the top, Jamaica’s sport reputation and image was largely carried by track and field. Kudos to the other sporting disciplines which were able to send signals that they were also in the game.

Administratively on the international scene, Jamaicans were either appointed or kept their positions in senior and strategic roles in the IOC, Netball, Football, Volleyball, Badminton and Track and Field. Those roles are key in ensuring that Jamaica, as a developing nation, continue to receive capacity building on and off the field of play, while sitting at the table to influence or participate in decision-making at the global level.

The point of this article though is to impress on the JAAA, with just over a year to go for the World Championships in Qatar (September 28 – October 6) and the JOA, with the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo; put in place a comprehensive marketing and promotions plan which will serve to, most importantly, win new fans to the sport.cropped-sportsmarketing1.jpg

Outside of the die-hards that show up at a meet no matter what, the sport fan is becoming harder to please and what that means is some research and subsequent implementation of a plan could be what turns the support for our track and field athletes in the short to medium terms.

You may ask why research? The simple answer is the governing body would know
• Who is consuming the sport
• What they like about the sport or what they do not like
• What are the things that could change to make the sporting event more favorable to fans?
• Who are the athletes that can help to generate support from fans (more access to the athletes)?

Track and Field is ahead of most sport as internationally, the athletes are winning and that is a plus. That momentum therefore has to be built so by the time we get around to the World Championships, we will all be aware of:

• Who the athletes are
• What events the athletes compete in?
• How we can support their dreams with the support of fans

The individual nature of track and field may pose some challenge, but a meeting with the managers and agents could plant that initial seed and then get the athletes’ buy-in.

#StayInTheGame
#OneLove

Sport and Entertainment Agents

Sport and Entertainment are two of the biggest industries globally. There are several papers and research that will show that those two industries will grow “no matter what” even in an economic recession. There are tons of figures presented by:

·        PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC)

·        International Trade Center

·        Departments of Commerce (in top commercial centers)

 Wanted to offer that background, as with the growth of the sectors, there is room for more experts and so employment will tend to increase.

handshake-man-and-woman

Today, I want to focus on the role of an agent. The definition of an agent for the purpose of this article is “one who helps to build careers.” The most basic of an agent’s role is to handle athlete/artiste, franchises/professional teams and event promoters where applicable.

Here are some other roles:

·        Setting of goals for the athlete/artiste after sitting down with them for a detailed discussion

·        Part of a team which negotiates endorsement deals

·        Part of a team which handles public image

·        Part of a team that recommends charities and/or foundation

·        Part of a team that looks at options for retirement

That agent therefore is required to know a few things or at least have some basic training. The training can be at undergraduate level in business, law, sport management. The agent should be able to bring something to the table.

I can translate that in a simpler way to explain that an agent should: 

·        Know other influencers in the specific industry

·        Be able to make connections to grow the status of the athlete/artiste

·        Be able to get on lists that are relevant to the development of the athlete/artiste

·        Attend events where networking is available to ensure your client is represented in the best way possible

·        Get in doors, offices, boardrooms that would be otherwise unavailable

The point is, an agent is the direct link between the earnings and how an athlete/artiste is viewed by the public. The athlete/artiste must therefore choose wisely, as essentially, the business of sport and entertainment lies in the agent’s hands. Lots of opportunities for agents and lots of places to learn the business – Get in the Game for those who want to make a go at it and for those already in it – keep relevant by always learning. There are tons of conferences and workshops to attend too numerous to mention. DollarSign

Here are five professional sporting organizations you should consider for those of you interested in that industry https://www.bestcollegereviews.org/lists/five-professional-organizations-in-sports-management-to-consider-joining/

For entertainment, here are two I would recommend http://www.agents-uk.com/ or http://www.besla.org/

 “Show me the money.”  #OneLove

Dahlia Harris makes “A Case of the Ex”

Friday, May 4 – Any outing with Dahlia Harris always has some real “punch” to it and this sit down was no different. Since my last blog on Dahlia, she has taken on a few projects whether by design or by association.

She and her team hosted another round of successful Women in Theatre Festival. The Festival was held in three parts. The one-week event looked at showcases, panel discussion and tributes. The Festival also zoomed in on the key roles of actors, writers and directors. The partnerships with the Edna MJWITF 2018 Aanley College of Visual and Performing Arts and JAMPRO were important. The presenters were wide range and the workshop sessions were educational, informative and riveting. That said, Ms Harris rolled right up into the Miss Jamaica World Project and the Pap Smear Lyme. In between that she continued to write, direct, present and volunteer for several activities across the island.

Dahlia sat down with me and we had a chat about her last six months, and what’s to come.

What has been the reaction to Dat a Gwan Jamaica Remix? 

It has been amazing. We have had patrons coming to see the show four and five times and still belting out laughter with every scene. The response has also been obvious through the comments and posts via social media.  When patrons connect with the show so much that they take the experience home it says a lot about the production. DatAGwanJamaica

Some other projects you have been mulling over…want to share what we will see from you in another year?

Definitely more projects for television and I attempt a feature film.  The scripts are ready and waiting, I’m still working on funding.  It’s easier to get overseas investment in Brand Jamaica where creative projects are concerned but then you are boxed into providing what they want.  It’s taking a while for our local investors and companies to believe in the power of what we have to offer, but hopefully they will get there.  

You have recently done two major programs – the Pap Smear Lyme and the MJW board/team – describe the passion you have for programs of this kind 

Well I have a passion for all things that will empower women and children.  Just sitting in that interview with the Jamaica Cancer Society and really appreciating the gravity of the situation, I knew I had to contribute in some way.  An estimated 200 women die from Cervical Cancer in Jamaica each year. That’s mind blowing. Having done the #PapSmearLyme I am even more committed to the effort.  The call was for 50 women.  Close to 3 times that number showed up before we had even reached half of the time scheduled for the event.  Many of them participated because access to the test was made possible through NCB Insurance and the generous spirit of a few Jamaicans.  I want to keep the women coming in for tests.  Who knows how many lives we will save?

As it relates to MJW, I am very excited to be on the planning team.  Jamaica has some of the most beautiful women in the world but we also have some of the most benevolent and altruistic women that I have ever met.  The renewed focus on Beauty with a Purpose means we can highlight those women who have been making a difference in their communities.  That’s a major part of Brand Jamaica…service to our fellow citizen…that’s what we want to showcase to the world. The global crown will allow us to do that.  We are aiming to take it home.   

Come May, you will have something new out, tell us about this – Case of the EX 

It’s a relationship comedy that deals with the hot topic of how you cope with exes. It is really a sensitive issue.  Jealousy for your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s ex can easily turn into suspicion and doubt, but in some cases are these emotions justified?  When faced with your partners ex, what do you do!  

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Case of the EX is centered around DJ Cheetah (Kadeem Wilson), a young reggae producer struggling to reclaim his popularity in the music industry.  His latest love Dymond (Alexandria Gregory), has her sights set on becoming a global star, but Cheetah keeps ignoring her talent and her love for him prevents her from cutting ties and moving on.   When a local station launches a lucrative national song competition, Cheetah seizes the opportunity to bring in his ex, DJ Cyattie (Dahlia Harris),  to help him win that big ‘buss’.  However, Cyattie has other objectives; she wants to move from Cheetah’s past into his present and has no qualms about getting rid of Dymond.  With just one night to make a major hit, things get very heated in the recording studio.  When the sun comes out, someone will wear the title of EX …let the games begin.

It’s a delightful story and I am happy to be working again with screen and stage actor Kadeem Wilson who is still thrilling audiences in Dat A Gwaan Jamaica:Remix.  I am also happy to introduce Alexandra Gregory to a wider commercial theatre audience.  Some would have seen her featured as the school girl in Television Jamaica’s “Inna De Bus”, and she brings a wealth of talent and experience to the show.

You have worked with a number of young people over the last year, what are you most proud of? 

I am proudest when I see the accomplishments that they have made and how mature they are about their careers in the creative industry.  They strategically plan for where they want to go, they put in the work, and they rebound from their challenges.  They are inspiring to watch. I don’t necessarily want to name anyone in particular because I don’t want them to feel like any accomplishment has greater value than the other and there are a lot of young people I could name LOL!  I am just heartened that they are not only talking about success, they are doing what it takes to get there.

What else are you working on to ensure your expertise is passed on to the next generation? 

All my productions are basically managed by young people.  They do the administrative work, they are a major part of production work, and I rotate them on stage as actors.  This way they have an understanding of how all aspects of the business operates.  I have been working on a project that will extend to communities across the island but until I have everything in place I don’t want to say too much about that. That project will however not just be about honing performers; it will pay equal attention to technical and production capacity building.  We can’t progress as an industry if the sum of the parts isn’t all functioning at the same level.

TV is always a great fit for you be it Sport, News or Entertainment, how do you maintain that drive to keep at it? Dahlia Harris

The viewers.  What we do means so much to them that I consider it a privilege to be able to impact lives in this way.  Whether it’s sharing information that will improve their lives, or just providing light moments to brighten their day…it really makes a difference to someone and I take that seriously.  I think the diversity also helps; being able to host various events and interact with people who are dissimilar yet alike in so many ways keeps the work interesting.  Top that all with the fact that I am a entertainment and Sport fan…I’m doing what I love and I am grateful!

Offer some advice to a school leaver who has interest in the business of music/theatre/film as this seems to be a growing option for some. 

Respect the business.  That means getting the necessary skills and knowledge required to make it work.  This holds true at any aspect of the business. If you’re talent, do what it takes to get your skills up to a level that makes you marketable.  If you are production, understand the industry.  Read as much as you can, enroll in workshops; observe others who have been successful.  I’m not suggesting that you duplicate all that you see; I’m saying understanding what works and what doesn’t will help you as you forge your own path.  Too many believe that creative business is easy.   If you fail to respect the business, it won’t respect you. 

Until next time, #OneLove

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Star Athletes – what keeps them driven

March 11 – International and super-star athletes appeal to us for different kinds of reasons and over the years lots of us have been drawn to specific athletes because of look, performance, personality, teeth, eyes, ears and so many other things.

Most of the athletes we like are also great to watch on the field/court of play and television audiences have largely been affected by that in recent times. However, have you ever stopped to think what drives to perform at the highest level with giving top performances consistently? What really makes them tick?

All great athletes commit themselves by exhibiting dedication, discipline, stick-to-itiveness and even a willingness to compete when the odds are against them and there are times we would really like to get into their heads to know how they think, what motivates them, what are the likes and dislikes and also how do they remain grounded (human).

The psychologists will tell you great athletes are coachable, they have a strong work ethic, they are aware of their work environment, they have composure, presence and poise; they may even be confident. But beyond that, there is always something that touches on the soft side, make them want to quit and also an inner part which want to do what they really want to do like party, drink, smoke, drive fast, put on weight out of season and even not want to train as per a schedule.

It is important for management of these athletes to understand these idiosyncrasies and work on a way to best manage and get the best out of the athlete simultaneously.

  • All world beaters want to always be on top and will want to perform better with each outing
  • All world beaters welcome competition but would prefer to be on top and will work hard at remaining on top
  • All world beaters listen to that ‘little’ voice in the back of their heads or even voices from outside, then do what they want to do. We have to give them choices with consequences so they are better able to make informed decisions
  • They also know when to take a break, even it does not agree with what the coaches/management say, but they take the break anyway. How long they stay on that break is what requires adjustment
  • We sometime spend too much time giving them instructions, as opposed to listening to them to hear their opinions. As the athlete gets older and more mature they too begin to develop a mind of their own and will require guidance and not instructions
  • They dream and if they share their dream with you, take that as your template to make the dream happen. There are times however, when you can be honest to say the dream cannot happen. Be gentle.
  • Be aware of the friends they have and be aware of the other instructions they get. Be positive in telling them the realities.
  • Listen more and talk less sometimes
  • For those who are close to their immediate family, embrace that, you may pick up a few ideas which could prove valuable in the near future
  • Talk to them not at them

Bill Cole, a mental game coach, out of California has written on the topic Championship Athletes – what makes them tick? Take a read sometimes.
In one of his columns he said “they learn from themselves, from those around them and from their environment. They embrace winning, competition and reaching their potential as athletes and as individuals. We can also learn a tremendous amount from them.”