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Jamaica, a sport destination?

For years, Jamaica has performed well in international spaces in track and field, cricket, football, netball, basketball, hockey, swimming… and I could go on. Much has been discussed about Jamaica as a destination that produces athletes of the highest caliber; but also a destination that can host sport. That is how the economic cycle turns.

As a background, the Jamaican system has never been able to record a correct estimate of the contribution of the sport industry to its gross domestic product (GDP); but the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) in its annual public, the Economic and Social Survey of Jamaica (ESSJ) suggests that sports and entertainment contribute a combined figure of up to 3.5 per cent.

The GDP as reported for the 2019 period is $14.516 billion. The sport figure would therefore be close to $500 million.

When the Government presented its 2019/2020 budget for $803 billion the allocation for sport was $4.119 billion; a figure that has shown steady increase over the years. Certainly, in the last decade the country has participated in two Summer Olympic Games – 2012, 2016 and was about to go to its third in 2020, now postponed to 2021.

For the 2022/2023 budget cycle, the overall figure is estimated at 912 billion. The allocation for sport is 4.4 billion which is .48 per cent of the overall budget.

For that table to turn, we need a model that speaks to

  • Properties – leagues, teams and athletes earnings
  • Rights Management – gate, media and marketing rights
  • Events – this is now an experience in a cutting edge venue
  • Content

One of the best examples of how the four areas mentioned above co-exist, was when the ICC developed and implemented T20 cricket. We know how that has gone.

Talent alone won’t sell and if Jamaica is to earn from Sport and Entertainment it must have venues that can host events. The venues on the island could do with some modernisation and even additional (new) venues to stay in the game.

Because of our developing nation status, we have to plan way head of time and set targets. The time to start is now, if not before.

The ideal events are single sport. MultiSport events are outside of reach at this point, as the legacies have not shown the requisite ROI in even developed nations.

That value-added is needed. Based on global figures, football, basketball, cricket, golf events and extreme sport have the biggest potential for revenue. We should look at a plan (again). Reactivate Jamaica Sport. And oh, by the way, Sport Conventions are a massive way to earn.

Tryall Golf Course, Jamaica
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Digital Engagement, the way forward for Sport Marketing

The pandemic has affected how sport was marketed for the last two years. That won’t change anytime soon. While some sporting events were able to have crowds, there is going to be a need for marketers to be so much more innovative.

Digital engagement will have to be combined with a smaller crowd for an effective collaboration for brands. What that suggests is, streaming will again be the way more consumers are engaged.

In Jamaica for example, horseracing has more or less enjoyed their usual crowd. However, in major sports like football, netball, cricket and track and field, the sporting disciplines with global competitions to prepare for this year; events are already on the calendar to offer the athletes an opportunity to compete.

With the rules governed by Ministry of Health and the Office of Disaster Preparedness, marketers will need to dip deep in their creative minds to find ways to have their brands maximise engagement.

A multi-channel approach must therefore be on the front burner. The applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok along with live and delayed reporting must be the way forward. It may even see a greater role for radio.

This approach offers a greater deal of monitoring opportunities for marketers:

  • You can listen and track conversations
  • Fans can call in and offer their take on what is happen even during competition
  • Digital connections will grow

None of what we did three years ago, will remain the same and so there has to be new ways of thinking.

The usual ways for sport assets to earn will now have to jump into the digital space

  • There is e-ticketing
  • Merchandise will now have to be mailed
  • Technology will be forced to be more effective as consumers will be streaming more, so subscription fees may increase

Opportunities for Athletes

The time is ripe for the more engaged athlete. The one that can connect with fans and brand in an equal way while allowing themselves to be accepted as an authentic personality. The usual crowd-pleasing antics that would be done in a stadium will now have to be online. That also gives rise to more content for the brands the athletes are associated with. This is a 360-degree relationship that is about to start and both the athlete and the brand win..

How Jamaican (Caribbean) companies can pivot

Over the next two years, leading to the Summer Olympics Games, scheduled for Paris in 2024, lots of Jamaican athletes will be on the global stage at several levels. They are in league competitions, they are in qualifiers, and they will be on teams to World Championships, Commonwealth Games, World Youth and of course the Olympics. These are in several cities in spaces where your brands would be useful to have a spot. I am challenging businesses to connect to an athlete, grow with them on and off the field and get your messages out.

This is how we should all be pivoting in 2022 and beyond.

Get in the Game!

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Nikita Miller to open Academy

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Former Jamaica and West Indies spinner, Nikita Miller is all set and ready to open an Academy later this month. 

In a move to grow and develop the next set of young cricketers, Miller is using 4Milla Academy to pass on skills and knowledge to the “next generation.” 

The Academy is due to start Saturday, November 13 and will be conducted in a fun and safe environment for participants ages 5-18 boys and girls. 

The Academy will be based at the Melbourne Cricket Club in Kingston.

The sessions, ranging from 60 – 90 minutes will focus on three main groups of girls and boys. The beginners, five to ten years old, will have one session starting at 9:30 am; while the intermediates and juniors, will have 90 minutes sessions. Those sessions start at 11:00 am. 

Miller is excited about the progress of the Academy as “this is something I have been thinking about prior to my retirement. I want to give back and this is a progressive environment for the youngsters.” 

Miller is currently pursuing his Level III Coaches course, coordinated by Cricket West Indies. 

He is currently a part of the coaching staff of the Trinbago Knight Riders and works occasionally with the Jamaican team. 

His professional career started in 2004 when he first played for Jamaica and ended in 2018 when he played the last ODI for West Indies against Zimbabwe. 


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Sport and Entertainment content main feature for inaugural RealVibez Film Festival

Miami, FLORIDA – Caribbean content remains one of the most sought after globally yet remains largely untapped. That is the basis by which, RealVibez, the entertainment subsidiary of Blue Mahoe Capital, will launch its inaugural online Film Festival.

The three-day event will be held, August 25 – 27 and will feature a hybrid format with the face-to-face part being held at the Purplepalms Creative Studio in Wynwood, Miami.

PurplePalm Studios, Wynwood

The Festival will feature:

  • Workshops and seminars
  • Pitch sessions
  • Screenings of Films

The workshop/seminar segment will have, over the three days:

  • 10 workshops
  • 3 pitch sessions
  • Screening of films received

Already on board as sponsor partners are the Jamaica Tourist Board, Blinsky, Ava Stewart from State Farm Insurance and parent company, Blue Mahoe Capital Partners. The festival will also host an online auction of running (track and field) sneakers donated by Adidas Agent, Cubie Seegobin.

Festival Director and former Film Commissioner of Jamaica, Carole Beckford thinks the timing is right as the Caribbean is the focus of economic activity in several industries. We are targeting the Creative Sector, as one that we think has tremendous potential for wealth and job creation. We plan to initiate partnerships that will take a project from idea to execution.”

Veteran US broadcaster, Neki Mohan has been appointed Ambassador for the Festival and the Advisory Team will include film, media and entertainment officials with global reach.

Neki Mohan

Entries close in less than a week for entries for films and those fees start at $30 per entry. The categories of films are:

  1. Feature
  2. Documentary
  3. Narration
  4. Musical

Stories could be Fiction or Non-Fiction

Films must be produced, directed, edited, or written by a Caribbean national living on any of the islands/countries. The production teams may include a Caribbean national based outside of the region. Films submitted, may only have been entered in one other film festival within no further back than August 31, 2019.

If there is a film in another language, they must have English subtitles or dubbed in English. At least one member of the team will be required to participate in an online Festival to be hosted by RealVibez.

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Face to Face and Online for Reggae Sunsplash 2021

Kingston, Jamaica– Reggae Sunsplash will return in November 2021.  The event which returned following a 14-year absence is due for Friday and Saturday, November 26 and 27 at the Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in St Ann. 

Following its successful return to the Entertainment Calendar in 2020, Reggae Sunsplash has some wonderful ideas for the 2021 renewal.

The iconic Reggae Festival that was staged virtually as a result of the worldwide Covid 19 Pandemic, pulled in viewership well over 300,000 from 25 countries after a 14-year hiatus.

This year, the promoters of the festival aim to not only meet but exceed the digital achievements through a 360-degree hybrid entertainment model.

This hybrid model will see an expansion of viewing party experience following in the 2020 model. This will include restaurants, sports bars and hotels.

Festival Producer Randy Mattis stated that “We are very happy with the response to last year’s staging and we want to push the potential of the festival this year. The entertainment package is critical, and we are working with our booking agent, Aaron Spence at Kaboom Agency to secure the acts for 2021.”

Tyrone Wilson – Executive Producer; Aaron Kaboom Spence – Booking Agent; Randy Mattis – Producer – Reggae Sunsplash 2020

Mattis added that “the line-up will be attractive to a wide cross-section of fans and we aim to deliver the best of available artistes.

The plan is to build on the existing model by adding more viewing locations globally while exploring the possibility of a physical experience of the festival for a limited number of patrons over the age of 18 enjoying an exclusive experience at the 100-acre property.

Executive producer Tyrone Wilson added that “The prevalence of COVID-19 requires that we innovate and reintroduce the Reggae Sunsplash brand in a more engaging, interactive and far-reaching way. With the support of our partners and sponsors, it is our vision to leverage Reggae Sunsplash to transform our cultural entertainment sector generating major returns to our economy.”

The 2021 staging of the festival is scheduled for the month of November with two nights of performances and curated content experiences with a number of artistes set to grace the stage.

In celebration of Reggae Sunsplash’s rich legacy, the festival will merge performances from industry veterans and today’s reggae and dancehall heavy hitters.

For more information contact Reggae Sunsplash at

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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 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.


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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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Straight Forward – Show #7 is next

Straight Forward, a lifestyle talk show will be having its 7th program this Thursday, June 18 at 8pm CT on Instagram and Facebook LIVE. The program started May 7 this year.

This week’s guest is CEO, Solid Agency, Sharon Burke, a woman who is a pioneer in the business of music in and out of Jamaica. She has done this for just about three decades.

The program, hosted by Carole Beckford, looks at interesting personalities who are leaders and influencers in their respective fields. The one-hour show, broadcast on Instagram and Facebook live has a twist of Straight talk and takes the conversation Forward in an entertaining, yet frank and honest way. 

So far, the program has featured 

  • Jamaican, international chef, Noel Cunningham 
  • Former West Indies fast bowler, Tino Best 
  • Jamaican International Reggae performer and producer, Tony Rebel 
  • Actor, Director and Full Time Nurse, Shauna Chin (based in Los Angeles) 
  • Actor, Film Entrepreneur, Educator, Sherando Ferril Cupid 

Businessman and Head of the KLE Team (owners/operators of Usain Bolt Tracks and Records), Gary Matalon was the show’s sixth guest. The program has an eclectic line up for the rest of June and July. 

It is on at 8pm CT/ 9pm EST and 6pm PT. 

The IG profile is here at this link – while the program is developing its own space on Facebook at – in the meantime though, with a weekly reach of up to 300,000 on the combined platforms of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Carole is building a robust audience for the show. 

The show is primarily from the locations of the guests and host, but it has been outside twice, on location, courtesy of the Jamaica Pegasus. The show is currently supported by Strictly Roots Water. 

The show has its own music – Sunny Day – an instrumental piece played by iSax and produced by Ryan Bailey, who doubles as the show’s executive producer. The rest of the technical team has Jelani Walters, Ricardo ‘Champs’ Williams, Belinda Brady, Celia Thompson and Andre Helps.