Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Branding, Track and Field

Chris Taylor looks to return for the 2019/2020 season

The following is a statement from Christopher Taylor

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Since my last run at the Grace/ISSA Boys and Girls Championship in March this year, I discovered I have an injury which requires me to seek extensive treatment. I have decided to undergo that treatment overseas along with recovery.

At the new facility

My focus now is full recovery for the 2019/2020 track and field season.

Leading up to “Champs” a lot of misinformation has been published and I want to use this opportunity to clear the air.

  • There was an incident with a teacher and members of the track team in December 2018
  • At no time during that incident I made any physical contact with any teacher
  • The incident was unfortunate and as the Captain of the track team at the time, I acted in the most responsible way, which I believed helped to prevent any further physical altercations

That said, I am satisfied that I have served Calabar with distinction on and off the track. I achieved a number of personal and professional goals while being a student and I want to use this opportunity to thank my family, the entire school family (past and present) and the Jamaican people at home and abroad.

Working out

While I am overseas, along with my rehabilitation process, I will also be looking at opportunities for tertiary education. As soon as more updates are available, my team will communicate the progress made.

Thanks for the continued support.

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Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Branding, Caribbean, Cricket, Jamaica, Jamaica Tourist Board, JTB, Media, Track and Field, travel

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

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

Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Branding, Management, Media, Sport, Track and Field

Star athletes and Social Media

Saturday, January 27 – Elite and star-athletes have way more opportunities in 2018 and beyond; but they also have way more responsibilities. In every corner of the globe there is an athlete that is or on their way to “stardom”.

The star effect has number of situations to consider

  • Performance on the field/court/ring should always be on top
  • Performance off the field/in the boardroom/bank should also always be on top
  • Performance on social media platforms better be on top

The salary disparity continues; and while some sporting bodies have made an effort to level the playing field there is still a wide gap. The sport that still attract the top salaries are football (soccer), basketball, golf, tennis and the NFL. Formula One, Boxing and track and field have quality representation over quantity.

Forbes in mid year, 2017, released the top paid athletes https://nypost.com/2017/06/07/the-top-25-highest-paid-athletes-in-the-world-for-2017-are/ – occupying the top five spots were soccer, basketball and golf.

The top ten however identifies the variety in endorsements which ranges from 3m – 58 million dollars; salaries ran from 6m to 58 million dollars. Tennis (Roger Federer has prize money); he won 6m for the period under review and topped the endorsement with 58 million.

The top ten athletes also dominate social media with Cristiano Ronaldo sharing with 188 million between Twitter and Instagram. While we are on the matter of social media, this is an important method of communicating today and what is posted can be considered news, views and for the sponsor partners, endorsements.

That brings me to the point the appropriateness of the use of social media which the stars can be judged harshly for sharing a view on anything from their latest shoes, shirt to politics. More and more social media is the place where it all happens. This means though that the philosophy, brand and values, beliefs of the super star must come through.

We have seen recently where a male tennis player in the Australian Open was offensive with him having to delete tweets. One headline read – Tennys Sandgren defends tweets again at Australian Open; while this happened Tennys Sandgren deletes tweets after denying far-right sympathies at Australian Open https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/jan/22/tennys-sandgren-alt-right-australian-open-twitter

Here are some tips that could be useful

  • Establish a presence on social media
  • Be professional
  • Develop a daily/weekly routine
  • You may even consider scheduling posts (Have a team to manage as your audience grows)
  • The ball is always in your court
  • Always maintain your brand philosophy
  • Keep your posts short and simple
  • Use what is called rich media (videos, audio, pictures and related links)
  • Develop a bank of stories
  • Never feel entitled

The demand for content has grown. Social media can play a massive role. Use it to help your brand.

#StayInTheGame

Sports Marketing

Sport Academy – is really a concept, not a physical space

November 26 – Sport Academies have become popular globally. Since the 1970s, some societies deemed it important to balance the lives of youngsters who were choosing sport as a career. Since then, some of those have morphed into what we call High Performance Centers.

We can define a sport academy as a talent development program designed to create the best athletes in any sport; using specific techniques and a system to create excellence. The academy concept has the capacity to zone in on preparation, execution and after care.

Here is an example of why an Academy worked back in the 1970s. The Americans thought the team’s performance at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games was below par and Dr Carl Blyth and Dr Frederick Muller of the University of North Carolina in a report established a link that showed that preparation was lacking. The need for a sport institute (Academy) was revealed.

Since then the Academy concept has gone through several revisions. The Global Sports Academy, based in Alberta, Canada, has as its 2nd approach – we develop physical, mental and social growth. What I also realized, they “move students out of their comfort zone and into their learning and panic zones” – in other words, they prepare athletes to compete.

The High Performance Center today, does that and more. But what has also happened, is the HPC has developed into a concept which focuses on excellence, in some cases, specialization and the mental and social. What has changed though is the developing nations, largely with great talent, have been beaten in intense competitions and there was need for teams/athletes to learn how to finish. The Academy in its concept helps athletes develop the ‘competitive edge’.

The Academy concept caught on in the Caribbean region in the late 90s. The formation and standardized operations of track and field clubs based in the region; the HPC for cricket and academic institutions with curricula focused on preparation – became a thing.

We have seen the results of home trained athletes across the sporting disciplines and the medal table at the Olympic Games for the Caribbean shows the kind of growth which has taken place.

Fast forward to 2017, with developing economies unable to find budgets to fund programs of national priority; it has created the call for sporting federations to be more creative and the role of technical experts now got a chance to show their worth.

The experiment with cricket worked and to its credit did include some of the current members of the Test team. The center, based in Barbados (at the time) was officially opened in 2010 and was a partnership with the University of the West Indies. The center targeted players between the ages of 19 to 27. The first group of players were Shamarh Brooks, Jason Holder, Shane Dowrich (Barbados), Kyle Corbin, Kevin McClean (Combined Campuses & Colleges), Brandon Bess, Ravindra Chandrika, Veerasammy Permaul (Guyana), Nkrumah Bonner, Andre Creary (Jamaica), Kieran Powell, Devon Thomas (Leeward Islands), Shannon Gabriel (Trinidad and Tobago) Keron Cottoy, Delorn Johnson (Windward Islands).

The HPC in its original form has been discontinued. Since then, the franchise system has been developed. New systems have been in place and the results/records have a lot to tell the discerning public.

After four years of the Professional Cricket League (PCL) system with 10 rounds of 4-day cricket; two zones of 50-overs cricket with ten played within 30 days and a 6-weeks’ T20, regional cricketers have more than a fair chance to excel. What exists now in each region is a list of professional and coaching staff with upgraded skills sets (in two years, there has been two Level 3 coaches courses). The A Team has assembled for tours in and out of the region and the player pathway seems clearer. Selection remains subjective to the biased onlooker, but there are merits to the system, now in place.

I wanted to make the point though, HPCs in 2017 are but a concept, one which is determined by its focus on excellence, specialization and results; one supported by its participants committed to doing the tasks and programs required to compete. That I think, can be done in a physical space, but with things the way they are, can be done from anywhere, once the mindset of those involved are all on the same page.

High Performance

The ideal Caribbean would want a physical space; but with limitations, we must consider the options. Also it is an opportunity for teams and clubs within the region, while adopting in principle, the HPC plan, upgrade its facilities while finding ways and means to attract more participants to its programs.

I would want to suggest that in five years if the plans are adopted to fit each program in each territory, with decent facilities and more technically prepared officials; the HPC model would continue to create cricketers that can adapt to global demands; while importantly, earn enough to take care of their families.

Sporting federations today facilitate growth in key areas for its athletes by ensuring its stakeholders are given the chance to be up skilled to meet the dynamic global demands. They do this by creating an environment where this is possible. The HPC forms just one part of the ever changing cricket culture and market.

The challenge is therefore for the regional bodies to make this change and in their daily operations, surround themselves with the HPC focus and mentality. Cricket will win!

#StayInTheGame

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.

book-cover-2016
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 Athletes, Branding, Jamaica, Management, Sport, Track and Field

Fan Engagement and Ticketing – CHAMPS

March 31 – As the Inter Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) mulls over its management of the current ticketing fiasco, it should equally seek to re-engage fans. Sport has evolved so much that those fans who go out to watch live sport, seek meaningful ways in which to be occupied at the event.

Before I get into the suggestions for Fan Engagement though, I want to make it clear, that the solution I am recommending to ISSA can provide a few positives for them:

  1. More money from ticketing
  2. Attraction of a whole new set of fans
  3. Indication that they are moving into the modern era of event management

As one considered an export in the Business of Sport, I want to offer solution to make the product better, stronger and sustainable. What is clear though, is ISSA has to be prepared to access expertise which are clearly beyond their current operations. An organisation has to outsource roles which are not easily available, but have team members, monitor to ensure all goals are being met.

TICKETS

Since the grandstand is the major issue here, there is a way that there can be significant revenue generation, but a formula has to be reached. My assessment is based on the estimation of the 5,900 available seats. Secure 500 as Season Passes at a premium rate. Those season pass holders are you key customers who regardless of whether they attend CHAMPS or not, will pay for the tickets. Let’s look at Spike Lee for example he has been a season-ticket holder for the New York Knicks for many years dating back to 1985. He is said to pay US$3,600 for each of those two tickets he has, a far cry from the $500 paid in 1995. Spike, despite his fame from his film career, is well known as a Knicks Fan. I am here to suggest we can find 500 CHAMPS fans. The package could offer parking and memorabilia and even time with sponsors.

The other 5,400 tickets can be available online and at box offices and be broken down in a way that the organisation still stands to earn. Fans have become more sophisticated and with more sporting events around, have become accustomed to first class hospitality. Fans all across the world buy tickets for major sporting events in countries thousands of miles away…they are done online and there is fan satisfaction. CHAMPS is a major event!

Back to Fan Engagement, ISSA and major sponsors should do the following

  • Have focus groups
  • Collate recommendations
  • Make an announcement for CHAMPS 2018 in October 2017 so fans will have enough time to plan.

It is also time there is a CHAMPS application (A CHAMPS app) – one that engages the related group of the athletes who are actually competing. The millennials and Generation Z groups are key to the development of the CHAMPS brand going forward. With home television audiences growing and some of us (older folks) are tired of the physical tussle to get in and out of venues, ISSA has to look at refocusing its marketing to a more fan-sensitive meet. I don’t believe any time soon, Jamaica will be able to afford a new stadium; I expect an upgrade soon. In the meantime though, we must make the best of the facility we have.

The other sport which can help the stadium in filling seats more than the average ten per year is football. The Reggae Boyz will have to go after World Cup glory again and that will offer an additional 10 – 15 days.

While I am annoyed at the way CHAMPS is being managed and marketed, I think the process for a solution is in close sights. I urge ISSA to consult.

Let’s monetize the game!