Jamaica Is In – Sport and Tourism

Kingston, JAMAICA – Jamaica’s sport and tourism exploits are well known worldwide. The two industries separately account for a significant portion of the popularity of the island.

The product sport tourism, while not new, is one which Jamaica has great potential and Carole Beckford in her latest publication, Jamaica is In -Sport and Tourism has outlined her views on the subject matter.

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Book Cover 

The 115-page book takes a comprehensive look at how sport, tourism, and sport tourism have evolved in a developing economy like Jamaica. The book covers the period 2007 – 2014 and looks at preparation for the Beijing and London Summer Olympic Games along with other events and/or activities which offered Jamaica a competitive advantage.

Beckford, in the book insists that the island possesses all elements of a formula for a successful sport tourism industry; but the agencies have been slow in implementing what is required to make the industry work.

Among a number of key issues discussed are sport and the environment; sport and politics; export of sport services and administrative structures, to name a few.

As a member of the Business of Sport team in Jamaica, she insists, sport and tourism combined are key to enhancing the island’s social and economic development, while achieving goals of inclusion.

With a body of work in sport at several levels covering almost three decades, Beckford thinks it is time Jamaica formalizes its plan to convert for a successful sport tourism business model to benefit the island.

Assistant Professor, David Edwards, Johnson and Wales University, Brand Specialist, David Faulks, Australia and Business Management expert, Horace Madison, New York have all given the publication thumbs up.

The book will is available online https://www.bookfusion.com/books/117289-jamaica-is-in-sport-and-tourism for US$17.50

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Dahlia Harris – 2016 was good!

Kingston, JAMAICA – When one hears the name Dahlia Harris, so many things come to mind. We could try the following: teacher, social commentator, scholar, broadcaster, theatre practitioner…whew, but there is more. Catch her on the volleyball or netball courts for about five minutes and you’d never guess. In other rounds, Dahlia epitomizes the term all-rounder.

The year so far has been a good one, but there are so many things that could have been done, but 2017, watch out!

Dahlia Harris

The focus of this blog though is really to check in on Dahlia. Every now and again one has to stop and just wonder what will she do next. The latest project, Ring Games (on TVJ) has been a stunner and “so far, so good,” says Dahlia. We asked her a few questions which we think will give you a clear insight on what 2016 was like and the plans she has for 2017 & beyond. Here she shares some of her thoughts.

How was 2016 for you? 
2016 was a real challenge with respect to achieving both personal and professional goals. It also reinforced that achievement should not only be measured by the end result, but also by the process undertaken.  There were a number of things that I set out to do that never came to fruition.  The process developed my capacity to successfully complete similar tasks in the future.  Most importantly, 2016 helped me to realise that there’s a reason why we have roses…we need to stop and smell them more often.
Share some highlights of the year 
Professionally the highlight for me was being able to star in my first feature film ‘It’s a Family Affair’ and to collaborate with TVJ on the production of the dramedy ‘Ring Games’. There’s a lot more that I want to do in film and television and I believe both productions were able to showcase my potential.  Personally, it was a really challenging time for my mother with respect to her health.  Watching her overcome that, and experiencing the way my family and friends rallied around her, made me realise how fortunate I am.
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Jamaica’s theatre scene has been active this year, do you think it is making the impact it deserves
Until theatre is recognised for its developmental capacity and not just its entertainment value I don’t think it’s impact will ever be recognised.  A lot of what we see happening in our society is a failure to effectively express ourselves, to voice our concerns, to discover culturally relevant ways to address our challenges. With 14 parishes and only two have fully functional theatre spaces. I don’t think I need to say more than that.
How can public/private sector help to fuel energy in theatre in Jamaica
There are a few organisations that are supportive of theatre.  In some instances they purchase tickets for performances hosted by charitable organisations.  There is still a lot about our private sector however that I don’t understand. We like to reference countries like Canada and places like London and other major cities and how their societies/people operate.  One of the things that stands out in these places is the way in which their private sector invests in the Arts, performance spaces, museums, cultural activities, community programmes …the private sector takes ownership of cultural development.  If we agree that Culture is a national state of being, then our private sector needs to decide on the kind of environment they wish to operate in.
We heard some news about use of the Ward Theatre, and of course we had to ask Dahlia what were her views on that special place downtown Kingston
Any views on the Ward Theatre? 
I will continue to state that the Ward should represent what it did over a century ago.  It was a contemporary relevant space on par with the world’s best.  There is too much emphasis on preserving the physical building, we need to work on preserving the purpose of the space.
Ward Theatre
We could make it a regional model with respect to its technical capacity, including stage automation which among other things allows sets to move on and off seamlessly.  Overseas producers could once again be courted to mount shows in order to assess their viability for a future on Broadway. Technical training and certification could also be a part of its sustainability. We could also activate a number of cultural agreements to offer specialised training….Russia for example could be approached to fund courses in ballet.
I know that there are plans to redevelop downtown Kingston, until that is done and security is improved, patrons will struggle to attend shows at the present location.  Parking also hampers accessibility.   I think it’s way past time for us to examine the possibility of relocating the Ward.   For me,  Heroes Park would make a prime location.  It would still be within the environs of downtown Kingston, has more than adequate space for parking, and is more secure than the present location.
In part 2, we ask Dahlia about her work in sport and how can Portmore work better for Jamaica. Until then… #OneLove

Elite Athletes today and beyond…

NOVEMBER 2 – Up to 20 years ago, elite athletes were judged primarily on talent. This talent included the ability to make runs, score goals, shoot baskets; others skills required were strength, endurance and agility. Today the elite athlete is all that and more.

A website article on www.conversation.com in this article http://theconversation.com/what-does-it-take-to-be-an-elite-athlete-depends-on-the-sport-18208 thinks it is a bit of nature and nurture.

This weblink highlights five characteristics in this article http://sportmanagement.cc/five-characteristics-of-an-elite-athlete/

The list is

  • Dedication
  • Selfless attitude
  • Communication skills
  • Continued motivation
  • Self confidence

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Photo credit: activelife.com

Today in particular where the business of sport has grown so much and will continue to grow, there is far more money available. The athlete goes after the highest salary and endorsement packages. There is however a thing called “competitive edge” – that which drives the elite athlete to win using a guided mental approach. This of course is added to the physical talent.

Elite athletes prepare at varying levels. They are required to peak at the right time. They are required to manage their playing schedules carefully. One could make an argument that it is harder for a tennis pro to prepare than a professional basketballer. The Open tournaments are held months apart and the tennis pro will have to prepare for example, for the Australian Open in January, then the French Open in May versus the basketballer who has an ongoing league from end of October to June. The basketballer can take the time to peak and win enough games to head to the playoff. The tennis pro has to be on top all the time.

Today however, here is who I think the elite athlete is and the qualities he/she should be:

  • In the top five in the world
  • Talented
  • Skilled
  • Fit
  • Able to consider further education
  • Able to have a lifestyle skill – music, dancing, cooking, baking etc.
  • Able to do great interviews
  • Marketable
    • Good for a magazine cover
    • Billboard
    • Can engage a targeted group – children/youth/adults/elderly
  • Play another sport for fun
  • Able to assemble a management team to negotiate the best deal
  • Able to manage social media – maintain a presence without being offensive

Here is an interest concept of what elite athletes have in common – Research shows that early participation in multiple sports leads to better overall motor and athletic development, longer playing careers, increased ability to transfer sports skills to other sports, as well as increased motivation, ownership of the sports experience, and confidence. Read more here http://activeforlife.com/what-elite-athletes-have-in-common/

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Image courtesy of Glamour

Elite athletes today have a comprehensive perspective on life and as a result will adapt and adjust when required to WIN. Elite athletes also know how to navigate distractions.

The stakes are high! Get in the game! ENJOY every second on the field of play!

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/

On becoming a professional athlete

September 25 – With more money being pumped into professional sport globally, there are more athletes who are intent on becoming pros. But there are some basic pointers those athletes need to follow. Here are some:

  1. Get involved at a fairly young age
  2. Train smartly with someone who has your best interest
  3. Dedicate yourself to a sustained programme with clear goals
  4. Keep your body in great shape
    1. Eat right, if you can afford it, employ a nutritionist
  5. Pursue education, it will help later on
    1. You may even apply for a scholarship
  6. Join a club that promotes your sport

There are some other basics (health-wise) that you will need to check regularly

  • Eyesight and hearing
  • Reflexes
  • Heart condition
  • Dental

Additionally, as you head towards the pro-game, secure some skills sets around you, which are necessary for you and your management team to be successful

  • Legal
    • Intellectual property
    • Image rights
    • Copyright
  • Financial and Auditing (compliance)
  • Planning and Budgeting
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Branding
  • Commercial
  • Stylist/Lifestyle coach
  • Management – events, photo shoots, courtesy calls

Finally, be willing to compete hard and smart at all times; be disciplined and have your passport ready to travel.

 

This is really a snapchat of a professional’s athlete’s life, until next time…stay in the game.

Jamaica -transforming creative to lucrative

Tuesday, August 30 – As always following any major sporting or entertainment event where Jamaica is represented there is talk of who, what, where, when, why and how. I got into a bit of struggle with contending views on how the country can embrace the current overflow of skills sets in those two major sectors (creative industries) and help to make it a more meaningful effort for all of us and by extension convert to wealth/income.

The post read: 

You know what the athletes and artistes would be happy with:
1. Proper training facilities
2. Pre, during and post care – health, other medical and policy to guide post life
3. Access to markets to maximise their earnings
4. Access to academic discourse to assess their experience
5. Boardroom access
6. Financial management and planning
For a country that has so much contributing to sport and entertainment we are obligated to putting those in place. The rest will come.

We are always in a dilemma about how we celebrate our athletes and artistes. There is even a question about who is an icon versus who is a legend? And by extension, does any of them deserve “national hero” status. While I acknowledge the impact our elite stars make, the continuation of an environment conducive to producing more is more my concern.

Up to December 2015, it is reported that the global creative industries with a two trillion earning represents 3 per cent of the world’s GDP and City Lab explains here http://www.citylab.com/work/2015/12/the-global-creative-economy-is-big-business/422013/

The role an economy like Jamaica plays in identifying what it’s good at and then to convert that to wealth creation for its people, becomes a monumental task especially for a people steeped in tradition. The people – a significant portion is still about the country producing experts in medicine, legal and even divinity related works. I say those are necessary. However in a global economy where a “good time” is being demanded more and more, sport and entertainment’s value are of greater importance.

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The chart above essentially explains the model and if we have a market willing to consume not just products and services along with the Jamaican experience, then what is the issue. The marketing studies have been done. So too the feasibility studies and whether it is the influence of our former political leaders, current athletes and entertainers, it is high time we convert. We need the plan and we need to see this through.

Jamaica needs to do something about it and do it now. It is time we change the game.

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?