Posted in Athletes, Cricket, Sport, sport fan, Sports, West Indies

Are you a sport fan?

SUNDAY MORNING COFFEE – Every time your favorite athlete or team takes the field/court, you prepare by wearing the shirt, shorts, dress, or hang the towel you would have purchased at the last home game or a store to support the next competition.

The outcome of the match or the race could set your mood for the rest of the day and week, dependent on how much of a fan you really are.

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There are several factors to determine how much of a fan you really and I will attempt to discuss this in this article. Being a sport fan can draw emotions you would never imagine. When you become a fan, you are emotionally devoted to whomever or whatever you choose to support. So, whether that team, athlete wins or loses, there is always a reaction.

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this picture is not mine 

 Here are some of the reasons you become a fan

1.    You played sport

2.    You have a family member who played sport

3.    You have a friend who is an athlete

4.    You have friends who are sport fans and you want to be “in’

5.    You have a spouse who is a fan and you do it to compromise

6.    You believe this is a good way to relax

7.    Tradition – you grew up seeing your family doing it, so why not?

Whether it is those factors, or you have additional reasons, you are now a fan and you have taken unto yourself a team, an athlete and you are ready.

Expectations of a fan

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1.    You expect your team/athlete to win

2.    You dislike the opponents – especially the ones who always challenge

3.    In this new age, you want pictures, videos, sound bites of your team/athlete

4.    You may even want an opportunity to meet players or athletes you are a fan of

There is more to being a fan and here I will go a little deeper in figuring who a fan really is. He/She is a confident person, one who deems him/her self a cut above the rest. A fan also thinks that team/athlete is the best and would find stats and figures along with argument to suggest same. Some fans move with the player to another city or team. While others collect merchandise and are happy to wear them when a match is on.

What ever type of fan you are, it offers a few opportunities for you to spend time with friends and family.

Here are some reasons people cheer for teams/athletes:

·         Something to scream and shout about

·         It adds a little excitement to life

·         You feel a sense of pride and fulfillment when your team wins

·         It is an opportunity to have friends over with food and drinks

·         For the ladies, it is a chance to be “in” with the men

·         If the team is from your town, city or country – the win/performance brings joy

·         Can serve as motivation for the day/week

·         It is a great topic for a conversation

There are lots of sporting athletes, teams and countries to choose from and cheer for. If you have not yet started to think about it, now is as good a time as ever.

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This picture is not mine

For those of us who have been toiling for years, we enjoy the highs and lows, but in the true spirit of sport. We stay in it for the love of it.

#GetInTheGame

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Posted in Advertising, Jamaica, Media, Sport, Sports

Jamaican Entrepreneurs Among Start-ups Chosen For leAD Sports Accelerator

Miami-based Startup Selected for German Sports Accelerator

ORLANDO, Florida: – Miami-based RunLive, Inc. is one of ten startups chosen from over 400 applicants to participate in the 2018 cohort of the leAD Sports Accelerator in Berlin, GermanyleAD-Class-of-2018.

RunLive recently launched a public beta of its running app in the iOS store that differentiates itself by being one of the world’s first gamified social running platforms. Runners across the world can connect and match instantly to compete in real-time, while being rewarded for their triumphs and the miles they cover. The app offers instant motivation and around-the-clock competition powered by patent-pending algorithms, in-run voice chat and audio-guided feedback.

Founded by Mike Thompson, a Jamaican entrepreneur based in Miami, Florida, RunLive has mostly been self-funded with a small friends and family round coordinated by co-founder David Mullings, also a Jamaican entrepreneur. “We were very specific about the kind of accelerator we wanted to apply to and leAD was the best choice based on our target market combined with their strong suite of mentors, coaches and partners” said Mike Thompson, a former Development Operations Engineer, who came up with the idea for the app 2 years ago.

 

David-Mullings-and-Mike-Thompson-at-leAd-Sports-Accelerator“Our goal at leAD is to find ambitious startups that want to change the future of sports. RunLive is a perfect fit for our accelerator program with a great team and a promising product. We look forward to working with them to help them achieve their goals as a company and as founders,” Christoph Sonnen – CEO leAD SportsWhile 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.

“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. Future-of-Running

The duo participated in a round of interviews and then were invited to Berlin to pitch and conduct interviews on Monday, July 16. Now they will accept an investment for 8% of the company with a post-money valuation of €1.25 million and participate in a 12-week program in Berlin that ends with presentations to 16 investors and leAD’s internal fund. RunLive currently has over 1500 users in the public beta and is focused on the user experience before trying to scale bigger. The team was in the middle of fundraising for their seed round and are excited to showcase diversity in tech.

 leAD Sports was founded by Klaus, Horst and Stefan Bente, grandsons of Adi Dassler, the founder of Adidas.

 About RunLive – 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

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 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.

 

 

Posted in Alzarri Joseph, Athletes, Caribbean, Cricket, Rahkeem Cornwall, Sports

Joseph and Cornwall making progress

St John’s, ANTIGUA – WINDIES Senior Team pacer, Alzarri Joseph and WINDIES A team all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall have been in an intensive rehabilitation and fitness program.

Joseph’s program has been geared towards helping him recover and rehabilitate from a stress injury to his back, sustained during the WINDIES tour of New Zealand late last year. Joseph has already completed four weeks of physical training and is currently on his 16 day of “return to bowling” program.

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High-Performance Director, Graeme West is pleased with Alzarri’s progress and reaction to the rehabilitation program. West indicated “The really positive thing so far is that there’s been no negative reaction by his body to bowling. Roddy Estwick has introduced a couple small technical changes that we hope will help his efficiency and take a little bit of stress off his bowling action.”

Cornwall, on the other hand, has had a shorter period since starting the fitness program but is making quick progress. He has played a considerable amount of cricket over the last 6 months. However, CWI has identified a window where he could focus on some physical training and he is currently working six days a week with Strength and Conditioning Coach to complete a three-week program.

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West was also pleased with the progress and determination that Cornwall has shown, “He’s progressing very well and will be putting that to the test soon, with some club cricket in Antigua. The ultimate goal is to have him ready for ongoing tours to include, but not limited to WINDIES A tour of the England, CPL, Super50 and the 4-Day League.”

Both Cornwall and Joseph train at the Coolidge Cricket Ground. Strength and Conditioning Expert, Ronald Rogers is part of the team included in the recovery of both players.

The program is managed by West, along with Dr. Oba Gulston Manager of Sports Medicine and Science, along with Rogers and Bowling Consultant Roddy Estwick.

*CWI Media Release*

Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Branding, Caribbean, Jamaica, Sports, Track and Field

BECKFORD TO DONATE BOOKS TO INSTITUTIONS IN JAMAICA

September 12 – Author and Communications Specialist, Carole Beckford is donating 200 copies of her latest book – Jamaica Is In – Sport and Tourism to a number of educational/academic institutions across Jamaica.

Beckford who launched her second book last November at the Miami Book Fair and last December in Kingston, has used research in Sport, Sport and Tourism and Sport Marketing to highlight how value that industry can be to Jamaica and by extension the Caribbean region.

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The Latest

The institutions to benefit are her alma maters – Ferncourt High, EXED Community College and Mico University Teachers’ College. Beckford is partnering with Yardie Sports to make this contribution possible.

Beckford noted that “Jamaica still has a competitive advantage in the region for anything sport, from its athletes, officials, infrastructure and support system and should be maximized for greater earnings. All the global research speaks to the growth in the industry and it is time Jamaica benefits in a more meaningful way.”

Dwayne Richards of Yardie Sports says, “This is a timely and excellent move by Carole Beckford as Jamaica transitions from the Bolt era to its next phase in athletics. It is time for more people to get a handle on what we need to do as a nation and this book is not only informative but a great teaching aid for everyone concerned. Yardie Sports is happy to be a part of this process and we look forward to the country growing in Sports Tourism because of this awesome initiative.”

The first set of books will be donated on Thursday, September 14 and will go the Mico University College library. The list will also include some libraries and other high schools across the island.

Books are also on sale at Usain Bolt Tracks and Records (Kingston) and the Jamaica Pegasus Gift Shop and online at https://www.bookfusion.com/books/117289-jamaica-is-in-sport-and-tourism

The books cost J$2,200 and US$17.50 online.

Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Branding, Caribbean, Coaching, Cricket, Jamaica, Sports, Track and Field

Caribbean is ready for the Business of Sport

On an island, October 10 – The call for a Caribbean Sport Summit has not gone unnoticed. The Caribbean has over the last decade experienced significant exposure for its elite athletes in the sporting areas of track and field, basketball, NFL, netball, cricket and swimming. Football has received considerable exposure with players competing for several professional teams worldwide, but no team from this region has been to the World Cup.

There are direct results which can be used to measure success in sporting terms

  1. How many medals has the Caribbean won at the Summer Olympic Games since 2004 in Athens?
  2. How many countries’ teams have gone to the World Cup Football since 2006?
  3. How many other teams have been ranked in the top three in the world in any sport?
  4. How many more tourists are coming to the region because of sport?
  5. How have media earnings increased because of well negotiated media rights?

The answer to these questions can provide a general status of the Caribbean Sport Economy. There are some additional factors which we can use to judge success or maybe in this case progress. For example, a number of universities have added a comprehensive sport curriculum to their academic calendar. That is indeed a positive signal as it indicates a strong intention to train people to support the growth and further development of the sport industry.

The global sporting picture looks great with an estimated value of US$504 million. The alarming sport betting figure is over a trillion dollars. And the USA with a considerable sport market share will, according to Forbes, grow to $73.5 million by 2019. Those are all great signs. How then can the Caribbean capitalise and maximise its earnings from this industry?

Five years ago, a group of professionals – attorneys, business planner and a sport management expert joined forces to create The Business of Sport. The business, based in Jamaica hosted conferences and workshops which focused on dialog and results on issues relating to

  • Branding
    • Companies and Athletes
  • Marketing
  • Event planning
  • Media Rights
  • Use of Social media
  • Social issues in Sport
  • Use of Technology in Sport
  • Athlete Management
  • Intellectual Property
  • Role of Athletes

Since then many federations have changed formats of their competitions; changed approach to their programmes and consulted with varying performance programmes aimed at attracting more investment and better athletes. That discussion continues.

What should now happen is, as we approach 20 years after the start of the millennium, all concerned should be reorganising policies and programmes while maintaining contact with resources which can help to maintain and improve standards all around.

The Summits are sometimes largely a “talk shop” however, there are relationships that can be strengthened to bring a greater focus on sport as a tool for economic development for the Caribbean. The 2017 version of The Business of Sport is scheduled for Kingston, May 18 & 19. Information on the schedule will be out soon where you can register to participate. In the meantime, follow us on https://www.facebook.com/businessofsport/

Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Branding, Caribbean, Cricket, Media, Sport, Sports

The Business of West Indies Cricket – 2016 and beyond

Sunday, August 7 –

At a time when the Summer Olympics is happening in Brazil, world sports take centre stage and the discussions are varied. These discussions range from salaries of international stars to which sports will be in the next Summer Olympic Games. The IOC even used the opportunity to announce five disciplines which they plan to include in 2020 – these are baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing.

Also in the last week, Forbes revealed the 2016 world’s highest paid athletes. No cricket athlete is on that list. There was no cricketer in the top-100 either. In the top 50 though, basketball and the National Football League (NFL) dominated with 12 and 13 athletes respectively. Football (Soccer) and baseball each had six; while tennis had five including one female; golf, racing, boxing and track and field completed the list. The range of the salaries (without endorsements) were from a low of $26.1m to a high of $88m.

See the complete Forbes list http://www.forbes.com/athletes/list/2/#tab:overall

What does this mean for the business of cricket? What does this mean for cricketers in the Caribbean and their abilities to earn salaries they can consider competitive among their peers as elite athletes?

Cricket is in the top five most watched sports for a global television audience, however most of us know where a considerable amount of that audience comes from. What then can the International Cricket Council (ICC) do to generate interest in attracting a more varied group? Lots of points to consider.

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The real reason for this column though is to look seriously at the key success factors in the developing a cricket industry in the Caribbean and thus making it attractive to attract a wider pool of talent and corporate support to build relationships and partnerships of value.

Here is a look at some variables

  • Number of competitions regionally
  • Number of competitions internationally
  • Number of employees (athletes/cricketers) and their salaries
  • Value of corporate investment
  • Value of endorsements to athletes and teams/franchises
  • Television and media rights

The discussion has to be pushed beyond the basic, but instead really focus on

  • Who views the product
  • In what form
  • How long they view the product
  • What are the preferred forms?

Then the discussion moves to – what adjustments will the administration do to create additional value around the product?

Reach

At the moment the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has access to 300 players in tcompetition each year at several levels in and out of the region. In a move which could help consolidate the value – maybe there is a way to look at who are the most valuable players – male/female. There are clear examples how other worldwide leagues promote their elite personalities. Also those personalities have to be prepared to turn on each time on the field of play and offer consistent performances. The cliché of “cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties” is being outweighed as the competition across the board with other elite athletes makes it harder for fans to watch a game where athletes/players go scoreless today and scores 200 tomorrow…but instead should be one where players “show up” each time.

Am I asking for too much? Maybe I am, but in 2016, those are some harsh realities facing cricket as a sport and the television audience watching cricket is not as ‘powerful’ to swing the marketing dollar enough to its benefit to attract major support.

The Caribbean population is certainly not enough to generate any considerable dent in stirring the pot; however, the influence of a value-added personality who can perform on and off the field could be the start of how cricket can convert to a more lucrative position.

Over the next cricket year, the number of days would almost double from 60 in the last period to 105 and that gives the game additional opportunities for packaging; but that should and must have some star-power. Who will it be?

 

Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Branding, Cricket, Jamaica, Media, Sport, Sports

Caribbean Sport Business…or not?

 

April 9 – The history of sport suggests it was built purely for entertainment. In the development of modern sport regardless of where it came from, the Industrial Revolution and mass production brought increased leisure which offered an opportunity for people to have more time to engage in playing or watching, and later gambling on spectator sports. These phenomena somewhat helped to allow less elitism in and offered greater accessibility of sports of many kinds. Mass media and global communication + professionalism then became prevalent in sports, and this pushed the envelope making sport one of the biggest industries today.

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Former British Prime Minister, John Major said in 1995 – We invented the majority of the world’s great sports…19th century Britain was the cradle of a leisure revolution every bit as significant as the agricultural and industrial revolutions we launched in the century before. Cricket, being a popular sport in Britain, had its own evolution – and when John Leach write in 2005 he explained that political, social and economic conditions in the aftermath of the Restoration (1660) encouraged excessive gambling, so much so that a Gambling Act was deemed necessary in 1664. He went to suggest that cricket, horse racing and boxing (i.e., prize fighting) were financed by gambling interests. Leach explained that it was the habit of cricket patrons, all of whom were gamblers, to form strong teams through the 18th century to represent their interests.

The rise of professional sport worldwide though created what was thought at the time to be a balance between work and leisure and while sport was largely seen as entertainment, there were more and more opportunities being created for athletes to earn significant sums of money from a routine which made them fit, competitive and in some cases, depending on the sport, strong.

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The path along which sport’s history has coincided with wars and other important social development, still contend that professional sport goes against what is considered the ethos of sport, that is, pure enjoyment rather than earning a living from sport. That debate will never end. However, in 2016 and beyond, even though amateur athletes outnumber professional athletes, far more are earning a living from sport.

With salaries for sure, there will be disputes and the incredible mix of athlete, agent, manager, publicist, sponsor, endorsements provide and create a conundrum for those who want to benefit and those who contribute to the beneficiaries. Also how could I not add the mix of media rights and now the latest social media. A simple example is – if you can rack up millions of followers on any of the platforms, an athlete’s value can be enhanced tremendously even with basic representation in the sport on the field of play.

The world’s 100 best/highest paid athletes cumulatively banked $3.2 billion over the last 12 months according to Forbes http://www.forbes.com/athletes/list/#tab:overall

Among the biggest sport contract now on the table is a US$325 million 13-year contract for Miami Marlins’, Giancarlo Stanton, which makes him earn an average of US$154,000 per game.

I want to talk about pay disputes and professional sport and list a few things that are common worldwide and in going forward how the Caribbean, specifically Cricket, can benefit from this process. Labour relations models for sport exist popularly in US Sport but there are several things we can learn. Salary caps, limiting to how much athletes can be paid, form one part of the puzzle and the Franchise system which has been implemented for West Indies Cricket can facilitate that for starters. The truth is, the Caribbean countries may have little resources to invest, however, if each country makes significant investment in the sport sector, athletes will be able to exist in a more enabling environment.

Salary caps determine an interesting rivalry between owners, in this case, WICB and WIPA and the players and sets a tone for the emergence of free agency, which is this case, the players who are not retained whether in the elite list of 15; the 90 first class players or the 11 women. As the formula is now, the lion share of the available funds say that the 15 elite players earn 57 per cent of the overall earnings of WI Cricket’s pot and the reaming 43 per cent is shared among the rest (101 players including 11 women).

The collective bargaining agreement process is also another way and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) has made attempts to get this right… in spite of the differences that players feel not enough is being done, the methodology to get to the most suitable place is being sought. Sharing revenues and power is quite an irony, as there isn’t one without the other. Players know that and so their role is to get as much as is available. At some point though the value of the purse has to be declared and that sharing has to be based on that figure. WIPA and the WICB have exposed its figures and so the current set up, which has seen adjustments and increases in instances is what currently entails. See details of how WIPA has shown the categories of earnings for cricketers in the region http://jamaica-star.com/article/sports/20160215/here-are-numbers-hinds-responds-sammy-outlines-payment-packages

Some sporting discipline use the salary cap methodology, while baseball for example uses what is called a payroll tax, which taxes salaries over an agreed amount. The enforcement of salary caps may be a good method of control in a market where the investment in sport through endorsements is high. Sport today is largely affected by market conditions, such as media broadcast rights, ticketing/attendance, subscriptions, deals with venues, hospitality suite rentals, social media hits for exposure among a few other variables.

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Owners may and will have to determine how to re-engage players/athletes so both benefit one way or another. There is an important role for corporate and public sector to agree on a few things to make this model work in the Caribbean and if this region, which boasts one of the highest numbers of elite athletes per capita can’t see the opportunity for sport as a sector to flourish, then we are much further behind than we really think. The rich legacy of sport in the Caribbean must be protected and enhanced. Sport, is not only big business, but it is a career choice for many and should be welcomed. However, it is important to use existing models – combine them and see what works best for us. Here’s to better Physical Education programmes in the schools, more investment from Governments and their subsidiaries, sustainable incorporation of high performance programmes, well-paid athletes and a Caribbean Sport industry we can all be proud of.

Carole has 29 years of experience in journalism in several subject areas, but suggests her work in sport administration, management and publishing are her greatest achievements.