Posted in Athletes, Branding, Jamaica, Sport, sport fan, Sports, Track and Field

Sport Fans – What are we missing?

KINGSTON – Sport fans globally have been lamenting the absence of live sport that they can watch on screens or even attend considering we are all being affected by this covid19 pandemic.

What is true though, this is one of the toughest periods sport fans have gone through in the last twenty years.

  • We were 65 matches in the NBA season.
  • The English Premier League (EPL) did not go beyond the March 14 date.
    • (Liverpool – two matches away from being declared winner)
  • UEFA has suspended and pushed back dates of all its leagues
    • February 19 a match was held in Milan – Atalanta vs Valencia
  • MLB was in the pre-season. March 26 was supposed to be opening day.
    • The Nationals are the defending champions  
  • NFL was doing combines and getting ready for draft (April 23 – 25) this will be virtual
  • ESPN will show The Last Dance – the Michael Jordan series
    • Originally set for June and will be brought forward to Sunday, April 19
  • WNBA draft is coming up in May and could be virtual

The Summer Olympics was scheduled for July 24 to August 9 and sport fans were all lining up.

On the track and field calendar, the World Indoor Track and Field, Nanjing was the first event to be postponed from the IAAF calendar and all the other Diamond League events, World Continental Tour (which includes the Racers Grand Prix event in Jamaica) are all being affected.

We are looking at hundreds of hours of TV/Sport content, live and delayed that, we, as sport fans are all missing.

What about the athletes?

With five sporting disciplines (Baseball/Softball, Karate, Skateboarding, Sport climbing and Surfing) to be added to the existing 28, apart from the athletes who were gearing up for the 33 sporting disciplines in this year’s planned Summer Olympics, all the other leagues and competitions listed above would see a significant percentage of the world’s best athletes on show.

The major brands, Nike, Adidas, Puma, Reebok, Under Armour would be in the world’s eyes. Some of us would be ordering stuff online and even when we attend some of the meets, we would acquire the latest merchandise that is available.

The athletes would wear the latest set of gear that has been made and we consumers would grab this up at every chance we get.

Opportunity for athletes during COVID

  • Stay safe and follow the protocols
  • Show us snippets of you working out in your branded gear
  • Give tips that can be used to inspire the world as you would always do
  • Keep all your fans informed; you may even get new fans

No one will or should be able to say when any major sporting event will return to the court, field or track, but one thing is sure, live sport is a thing.

Until then, cherish the memories… of sport!

Stay in the Game!

Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Branding, Sport, Sports, Track and Field

Jamaica’s Sport Industry

Jamaica’s sport industry will be hit hard with the advent of the corona virus pandemic.

The first blow came when the Inter Secondary Schools Sport Association (ISSA) was forced to cancel the 2020 edition of the Boys and Girls Championship. The event which was scheduled for March 24 – 28 was called off on Wednesday, March 11 by a team comprising the Ministry of Health and Wellness, ISSA and the lead sponsor partner, Grace Kennedy.

ISSA was quick out the blocks in estimating that at least J$150 million would have been lost. That amount would have included not just sponsor contribution, but income from broadcast rights, tickets and concessions.

The annual CHAMPS event is but one of the major calendar events which has been affected. The other sporting disciplines include an incomplete Red Stripe Premier League; Netball Jamaica was just about getting ready to start their national league in all divisions; an international volleyball club championship, scheduled for the weekend before CHAMPS, was also canceled along with several other competitions.

Subsequently, all public sporting and entertainment events have been postponed or cancelled. The only sporting event which managed to keep its foot in the door was horseracing which saw its last event being held on Saturday, March 21.

The effects on the system cannot be quantified just yet, but there are several layers that will be impacted. First off, all the athletes in all sports elite and amateur have been affected. While they are unable to compete, they are now unable to train.

Additionally, service providers, those employed directly and indirectly will all be affected; because with no events being held, there is no revenue being generated and therefore a lot of those in that industry will receive reduced pay packages for a limited time. Those who offer freelance services are on a wait and see game.

Elite Athletes

While the elite (professional athlete) may have a lifeline through the partnership with their sponsor partners, for example gear and beverage companies and other short-term partners. We await feedback from that group.

With every aspect of the industry almost coming to a halt, the fall out will be devastating. There is no timeline for the restart of any leagues now on hold. Some have been postponed indefinitely and some are considering cancellation.

National Sport budget

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 (an 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.

The global impact is severe and already we are seeing fallouts from all the major leagues in every sport. All have had an impact on its salaries for its professional players, full and part time staff.

We now have to live through the memories of sport, games we all love so much.

#StayInTheGame

Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Jamaica, Jamaica Tourist Board, JTB, Sport, Volleyball

International Club Volleyball in Jamaica, March 20 – 22

KINGSTON, Jamaica –  Top-class international club volleyball action returns to Jamaica this March (20 – 22). For the 28th year, the Venus Volleyball Club will stage its three-day tournament.

The event this year will feature seven male and eight female teams. Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, USA and Jamaica. The teams will be vying for top honors to include the 2020 Trophy and cash prizes and individual awards.

Home team and hosts, Venus International are the defending champions in both the male and female categories.

President of the Club, Kenneth Reid, in praising his team, says “we are happy to continue to contribute to the development of volleyball in Jamaica. For almost three decades we continue to showcase our own talent and we have been able to facilitate a wide range of international talent over this period. We continue to make serious inroads in the sport.”

One of the community initiatives the clubs has embarked on is ensuring the schools in St Catherine have access to this level of competition. Several high and primary schools will be invited.

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is one of the main sponsors for the event, along with the Tourism Enhancement Fund, The Knutsford Court Hotel, and SportsMax Ltd.

Action serves off on Friday, March 20 at the GC Foster College and runs through until Sunday when the final in both categories will be held. Action starts at 9:00 am on Friday.

At last year’s staging, five (5) overseas based teams participated, representing three (3) countries; USA, Bahamas, and Trinidad.

Posted in Athletes, Sport, sport fan, Sports

How to watch sport with your man/woman

Ladies – I have some suggestions for you when you accompany your male spouse to a sporting event. First off, lots of other women follow sport and are BIG fans, so, like me, we know the athletes, coaches and we develop friendships over time with the men in the crowd. So, if you are attending for the first time
1. Be pleasant (especially when you are being greeted)
2. Do not sit there looking bored – take a book if you plan not to watch
3. If your intention is just to “watch” the man; opt to stay home
4. Try and learn even a little about the sport/school/club the man supports
5. Take a snack bag with the things he likes and share them with him during a match
6. You may also choose to go buy him a drink (preferably a beer) during half time, so he can discuss the match with his friends. Also, you may see another friend from your own high school college or even your workplace, yes other women do the same as you are doing
Just make yourself comfortable.

7. If you are not interested in the sport, stay home. Remember, he will come home after each match.

Men

Suggestions for the men who have Women Who Love Sport
1. If you have no interest in the sport – Stay Home
2. You may offer to drop off and pick up
3. She may also choose to go with friends; so plan a drink up at home while she is away
4. Don’t text (WhatsApp) too often while she is there
5. If you decide to go… Take a book or your kindle – if you are not interested in the event, you will be bored
6. Take a snack bag with chips, or cooler (if allowed) with your favorite beverage
7. At half time, pop by the bar, snack counter – offer her a drink, some of us drink 🙂
8. At the end of the match, go back to your book/kindle while she runs a review of the match – half an hour is good
9. When you are walking back to the car, expect a few stops
10. When on the ride home, never ask who was that guy in the purple shirt, you may regret asking
11. Support your woman if she loves sport, know the schedule of the season/s; so when she off every Wednesday/Saturday you know where she is.

Next post will be on the TV edition! Until next time

Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Branding, Caribbean, Sport

Governance in Sport

The credibility of sporting organizations has come into question a lot in the last decade with the rise in scandals. This has caused, what some believe, a decrease in public’s trust and by extension the process of democracy.

In the meantime, sport continues to strengthen its role as a major influential institution and its process is also one which is used across corporate and a range of other organizations.

According to Hums and McLean, sport governance refers to the exercise of power with consideration given to influence, authority and the nature of decision making.

In the Caribbean we have heard cries for better governance, but we ask what this really means. Sport Australia summarizes its focus on governance to look at adopting a culture that focuses on accountability. In a lot of other jurisdictions, accountability and processes that are used to impact on policy form the general argument about what good governance should really be.

In the UK, a new code for sport was developed in April 2017 which sets out the levels of transparency, accountability and financial integrity that is required for funding from the national lottery.

While the commercialization of sport has seen incredible growth in the last decade with increased revenues and revenue streams – one of the causes of governance failures must be the slow way, especially in this region (Caribbean) that, sport, which remains a voluntary institution, still have inadequate resources to govern the modern, commercial world of sport of today.

Here’s how Adidas structure looks. One of the world’s top sporting brands

Those reasons may not hold much today, even with those facts as there are some sporting bodies that have governed well. There are four key areas that should be placed as priority to ensure each sporting body meets its mandate for accountability.

These key areas are:

  • Checks and balances – this is a system which prevents concentration of power in any one place. The concept of separation of power looks at a system which accounts for decision making being done based on roles. This process can counter any outside influences.
  • Democracy is also key – this has to do with the public good and how it stacks up against autonomy. The structure of the democratic process must reflect the accountability required. We are looking key success factors such as a legal system, compliance and even a sanctioning process. Stakeholder participation is also key to a democracy along with the way people are elected to govern
  • Perception – how people feel. A sporting body must be transparent, and its communication model must show that. All factual matters of the organization must and show find its way to the public in a timely and consistent way.
  • Diversity in offerings – sport must meet the need to be socially, environmentally and ethically aware and while meeting all the other needs of operations must find a way to meet these other needs. As sport continues to establish itself and make an impact on the wider society, there is need to refresh its goals and objectives for a comprehensive role while achieving financial success

Steps must and should be taken to hold sporting bodies accountable. Stakeholders should therefore be mindful of the people they elect to serve; while focusing on what the outcomes should be.

Governance is a process and while it is our sport leaders where the buck stops, the process starts with us, electing people who are capable, able and willing to lead and manage sport in a way we can all benefit on and off the field of play.

Volleyball is in the top five richest sport in the world – see its structure

Some progressive news on governance – The IAAF will elect its first female vice-president this year as it continues its efforts to ensure that women are represented at the highest levels of the sport. As part of the widespread reforms adopted by the IAAF Congress at the end of 2016, the IAAF has added minimum gender targets into its constitution to establish parity at all levels in the sport’s governance. This is a welcome addition to the Business of Sport.

#GetInTheGame

Posted in Care, Sport

2018 – The Year I became 50

Laughter.

Plenty gatherings with friends.

SPORTING events.

Family time.

Music (live and recorded)

…were just some of the highlights of 2018 for me;

The year I turned 50.

The unplanned way in which all this (and more) happened

Was exactly how I wanted it to be.

The opportunity and privilege to just get up and go:

  • Arnold Palmer Invitational (to see Tiger Woods)
  • Kaya Fest (to see the Marleys and other great Reggae Acts)
  • To celebrate 40 with my Sister
  • To dive deeper into Self Care

… were just some of the thrilling encounters I experienced,

The year I turned 50.

I posted a lot about #GivingThanks and #Focus – some ideas of joy I try to spread daily.

In between that, it was also the year, I hosted more soirees at my home. It was time well spent, the year I turned 50.

Up to August, I wasn’t sure what the actual day (December 1) would be like,

But as the time got closer, the day formed its own vibe.

Joyful. Exciting. Glorious. Thankful. Grateful – were just some of the words that can describe,

The Day I turned 50.

Well, it is that time of year, when one reflects to refresh,

And based on how the preceding days were, one looks ahead.

I remain grateful and thankful and will always care…

The year I turned 50.

Here’s to 2019!

One Love!

Posted in Athletes, Entertainment, Music, Sport

PE and Sport – redefining the game

ANTIGUA – The fact that Physical Education and Sport are now being recognized rightfully as an academic course and business respectively – this has opened discussions which are highlighting the lack of understanding of the subject areas.  

I would clearly state here:

·         There is a difference between Physical Education and Sport

·         Physical Education now has for the last 11 years, exams at the highest level from CSEC and has been offered at the CAPE level

·         Sport, through its competition has been known to impact on a society – socially, economically, psychologically, people management

·         Sport Business worldwide is valued at close to a trillion dollars

Based on some recent debates, there may be suggestions that sport is being overused in high schools; is distracting the institutions from their core work; is damaging the reputation of students.

While there are some truths, there are also arguments to support the benefits of being involved in sport at some level, either directly or even as a supporter.

My argument is, the rest of the education system needs to catch so it can efficiently and effectively manage its portfolio, which includes Physical Education. The study of Physical Education is academic, it looks closely of the study of the relationship with mind, body and soul. What about that isn’t academic?

Then Sport is the competitive, strategic and now economic viability of PE aimed at generating wealth, equality and recognition for people and country.

We treat tradition as tradition and think we should not adjust, because that is what it is…tradition. But the non-traditional PE and Sport, having become more user-friendly has used the traditional methods to overtake its competition (pun intended). That process is dynamic, some of us are still stuck in the normal mode and not realizing the potential of equality in the education system where we all can benefit.

Picture this, a school, college, university where the best of the traditional and non-traditional meets…the athletes in any of those institutions are managed by their peers in the traditional line. Where the community stadium is managed by the people there and the earnings are spent there to improve services, accessories and the lives of people. What about this don’t we get?

The Business Model has been presented over and over, but there are ways to capture this. One must first allow themselves to be open to new and innovative ways of doing business, and sport is one such way. the_business_of_sport_logo[1]

Research has also shown that sport can be used as ‘soft power’ for a nation such as Jamaica which continues to battle with its economic activities. I could make the same justification for music and entertainment.

Education needs to be redefined in Jamaica as part of a community where Parents, Teachers, Community Leaders forge partnerships with the students to build a nation. I challenge the Ministry of Education to create this model for growth for education. Be open to ideas that work and use people who are capable to manage. STEP in the Game!