Public Life – Manage it

It is always going to be tough being a public figure, much less an international superstar. What that status means is: 

  1. You are a subject of discussion for a lot of people 
  2. Some will like you, some won’t 
  3. Media will dig deep in your past; they will use it as they deem fit – remember sensationalism sells 
  4. If the status comes with increased earnings, you will have more friends and family members 
  5. The rules change. 

Here are some tips to stay aware, but to help you cope 

  1. Surround yourself with a (small) team that will tell you the truth 
  2. Heed the advice 
  3. Focus on the reason you got the status and keep working on it to improve 
  4. Every now and again, take a break from all the “noise” 
  5. Never be afraid to get professional help

The more you give, the more people expect. 

Just thought, I’d share these thoughts. 

#OneLove 

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Jamaica: Stay in the Game

Jamaica’s records on and off the field can stand any test globally. In 70 years, theisland would have compiled some of the world’s best. That is an accomplishment no one can challenge successfully.

That said, the global sporting industry has grown exponentially and Jamaica’sname, though still pretty much, favored, must ensure its competitiveness is secure.

How will that happen? There are specific areas of interest in the blend of the sport and business mix that must be prioritized to facilitate the improvement and earnings over the next decade. In that context I am offering some suggestions:

  1. Revive the National Sports Council – one that oversees the rationalized Sporting bodies
  2. Focuson
    1. Planning
    1. Technical Development
    1. Marketing of the destination as an international sport venue
    1. Hosting events that are
      1. Commercially viable
      1. Has global (targeted market) reach
    1. Influence curricula in schools and universities that are geared to look at management and administration of the industry
    1. Technological tools aimed at disseminating content on sport for the new-age consumer

The recent appointment of the boards that govern sport in Jamaica highlights gaps and I am hoping at some point we will have access to folks who can offer advice on these areas that add value for the full benefit to the nation.

The National Sport Policy identifies so many of the key areas I have mentioned, and while we should congratulate policy leaders on their work so far on insurance, upgrade of some facilities; the investment should be made to build the capacity of an industry that can generate a significant portion of wealth for athletes, administrators, supportpersonnel; while shining an abundance of positive news about the island.

I am therefore suggesting to the powers that be, that over the December break a thorough look be taken on these things

  • What national teams (sporting disciplines) will we seek to send to any international events between 2019 and 2023
  • How will funding goals be achieved and the implementation of the financial models for its success
  • Spend time to have discussions with institutions that know (conferences, workshops, seminars)
  • Revert to the quarterly meetings with national sporting bodies

There are alot of things that work in our favor and a few that don’t. Let us sit and talk this through. Put all feelings aside and show how when teams get on the court/field to play we play to win, and we go home… until we have practice/games. That is how a successful team works.

Let’s STAY the GAME… for Jamaica. 

Music is the path to one’s soul

When you are from the place where there is undisputable talent in music and sport, you kinda feel on top of the world wherever you go. Well, I do. And every chance I get I make people know I am Jamaican. I am never ashamed. Even with some of the drama we get into… I use the situations in anecdotes where appropriate and I LAUGH. It is what we are, and because I would not have it any other way. I live with it; I also do the best I can to improve those around me.

Anyway, this post is really about music and what it does to keep my soul in shape.

As a child, I collected records, yes, those circular things that plays on a turntable. I still do, by the way, and I still have a turntable. Those were fun days. My allowance in those years in the 70s and 80s were largely spent on records and books, yes books, I had to read.

I collected the best from Bob, Third World Third World, Vic Taylor, Dennis, Gregory, Marcia, Alton, Beres, Boris, Phyllis Dillion, Pam and Woody, I could go on. For the foreign acts, it was Michael (The Jacksons), Commodores (more Lionel); Earth Wind and Fire, Marvin (all-time favorite), Percy Sledge, Ben E King (the Drfiters), Stylistics, Chilites and Teddy P, to name a few. This Magic Moment

On Sundays, we had a play list of Perry Como, Jim Reeves, Skeeter Davis, Louis Lamour, Dean Martin and then we watched the Matinee. Won’t say much more here, as I am sure you get my drift.

Jim Reeves

If you are 45 and over you would have this at home

In the 75 – 79 years, I chose dance as a hobby. And we had the most amazing time at the Ewarton Primary School. Donna Summer was on top of the list with some Caribbean calypso and music for maypole. Yes man, I was right in there. Selene, Georgette, Michelle topped the list of artful movers!

As I started going to public events (live shows), I got to appreciate some more artistes and here comes the DJs – Josey Wales, Admiral Bailey, Super Cat; the singers Barrington Levy, Freddie, Dennis, Leroy and the list goes on. Marcia Griffiths was always top-notch. 

So far, after you have read this, you must be wondering, where she got time to study and all those things, well, I am here, and I don’t think I did too badly. Anyway…

Live Shows were a must now in the 90s – every drum knock I was there – yard and foreign. And then the LOVE for Jazz kicked in really good. It was no longer just Sunday music. Jazz became the “savior of my soul” – it became my go to music when I needed comfort, joy and some peace.

So, I did research on some, who have become my favorites – John Coltrane John Coltrane , Miles Davis, Chris Botti, Rod Stewart (he has a wicked selection. When you have time, listen to the Great American Songbook – Volumes I to III. I would go far to listen to jazz. I did New Orleans. I have most of what Grover Washington Jr has ever done. I even met his daughter.

Got a little into Ella and Frank too. In the mid to late 90s and early 2000s I invested some time into jazz groups – Four Play, Spyro Gyra (they came to Jazz Festival in Jamaica) I was overjoyed. Now, thanks to YouTube, you can create your own playlist of any kind of music. My Jazz list comes from Motown and the Breakfast songs.

Could not end this blog without talking about the R&B, Soulful folks. Listening to Lalah Hathaway, Donny Hathaway, Randy Crawford, Anthony Hamilton & Kem Kemgives me life. When I am in a troublesome mood, I go for Jill Scott, Angie Stone Brian McKnight.

The point is, I am not sure what I would do if I did not have music. It has really lined my soul with joy, peace and comfort.

Lots of others to mention. But, one day, I will take you down the dancehall path I trod. The excitement and drive the rhythms that dancehall takes you are like no other. Music is a thrill to the soul of man (in this case woman). I keep adding to my list.

Try listening to Daniel Caesar Best Part , he is groovy and exciting.

Until next time…

More eyes on Women’s Sport

Women’s Sports have been exposed to wider television audiences globally in the last two years.

With the Women’s World Cup of Football set to take place in June 2019, FIFA is pulling out all the stop to ensure the viewership is maximized. The 2015 edition broke records https://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/news/record-breaking-fifa-women-s-world-cup-tops-750-million-tv-viewers-2745963

The upcoming Women’s World T20 in the Caribbean (November 9 – 24) – the ICC has announced that the first stand-alone Championship will have its widest coverage ever. The live broadcast to over 200 countries around the world is a first. Last year the ICC World Cup had over 180 million watching the final. Read more details here https://www.icc-cricket.com/media-releases/901354

MotherDaughter-199

ICC Photo

 That is great news for women’s sport globally.

Back in the Caribbean though, Guyana, St Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda, will be on show to the rest of the world. The first stand-alone event will present an opportunity this November. The WINDIES Women will be playing at “home” and will have as good as any to win again as they are the defending champions.

The three countries had submitted successful bids and won the right to this event. The preliminary round will be in Guyana and St Lucia; while the semi-finals and FINAL will be in Antigua and Barbuda. Have a look at the fixtures 

While the focus will be on cricket performances on the field; the ICC and its partners have a legacy program in place – Mothers and Daughters (MAD) where women are being encouraged to get more involved in the game, on and off the field https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/886468

In other sporting news, the WTA signed a new deal to bring more women’s tennis to the Tennis Channel https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/01/sports/tennis/wta-tv-rights.html

Lots of other great opportunities for women in sport, 2018 and beyond.

 #TheFutureIsFemale

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The World comes to the West Indies – November 2018

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!

Come to Antigua

St John’s, ANTIGUA – When one hears of Antigua and Barbuda, there are a few things that come to mind. Cricket, Carnival and the Casual of the Caribbean. Antigua is that place you visit for the casual hide-a-way and where you get to experience peace and quiet, like no where else. I would hasten to add, only if you are a tourist. AntiguaFlagFlying

When you visit an island, it is ALWAYS good to find out the popular spots for food, fun and frolic (liquor) and the rest will flow (pun intended).  

The V.C. Bird International Airport is new and boasts spacious hallways. Coming off an international flight, you have access to a jet bridge, while if you fly the regional LIAT, you may have a short walk to the immigration hall. The process is quick and easy and the bag carousels, all five of them are secure, decorated with visual boards for your advertising pleasure. You tend to stand around long enough for network TV commercial break to get your bags. VC Bird InternationalOnce you clear that hall with bags, there is a paid taxi service provided by the state and buses for some of the well-established luxury hotels.

Here are a few places you should try to visit while in Antigua:

1.      Sheer Rocks – a chic and exquisite hang out shared with the Cocobay Resorts. The restaurant and bar, world-ranked, offer a sumptuous tapas menu and one the best made sugarcane mojito. Once you have viewed the sunset from the bar, you will want to go back over and over again SunsetSheerRocks

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2.      Beach Limerz – for the most sumptuous and tasty pan-fried snapper, this is the place to be. If you are lucky you may even see a few dolphins lurking around as I have been. The menu carries the delectable mix of the island’s favorites. Live music on a Sunday and Karaoke on a Thursday – two activities you will also enjoy. 20180223_140922

3.      Tradewinds – the business hotel of the island perched on top of a hill, far from the maddening crowd. It offers a fine option for residents who may not want to cook on a Sunday. Their efforts at the Jamaican jerked chicken is commendable. The view from the dining room offers a panoramic view of Dickenson Bay.

TradeWinds Hotel

4.      Café Shattoo – off Old Parham Road serves the coldest Heineken anywhere and, on a Friday, the fried pork with onions (you can ask for garlic bread) is well worth the stop. Seasoned fries are also on the menu and those are a must have. 

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5.      These days spa treatments are in and more and more people are taking time off to relax. I would recommend the Blue Waters Spa. The care there is top-class and the ride in the cart over to the spa offers a short tour of the elite resort.

20180602_122301-e1537908458174.jpgIn a 14 miles long by 11 miles wide space, 108 square miles – (Antigua), it is hard not to meet a few good people and there are lots of other things to do around. This is the island where there’s a beach a day. Visit Antigua, when you get a chance!  

#OneLove

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.

Kensington T20

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.

sport fan reaction 1

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

women sport fans

The picture is not mine

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.

sport fan reaction 2

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

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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ARTISTES ARE REQUIRED TO IMPROVE THEIR PERFORMANCES ALL THE TIME

This article wishes to compile a list of ideas for artistes who ply their business on stage for a living. Live shows are always a thing. Fans will travel just about anywhere in the world to see their favorite artistes perform. What that means is, they always expect the best. Mic with Lights

An artiste therefore needs to understand that to give the best, they must invest their time to “get their act together.”

It starts sitting with the management team, having accepted a show and the following must be done:

  1. Have an attorney look over the contract
  2. Ensure there is mutual agreement
  3. Number of persons to tour as part of the artiste’s party
  4. Submit list ahead of time to promoter
  5. Confirm air travel with classifications
  6. Confirm hotel with classifications
  7. Confirm ground transportation
  8. From airport
  9. From hotel to sound check
  10. From hotel to performance
  11. From hotel to airport for departure
  12. From hotel to a community service stop (if agreed)
  13. Decide on wardrobe
  14. Decide on media – to include exclusive where appropriate
  15. REHEARSE the set based on the market/audience to face
  16. Do the sound check
  17. Determine length of set without encore (this would have been in agreement)
  18. While on stage, ensure there is a stand for: Water; somewhere to hang clothes if the artiste decides to take off clothing; Have a back-up microphone where necessary

There are lots of other little things the Road Manager would have been able to determine based on research and would have discussed with the team. If there is a band involved ensure all band members are able to travel to the location, especially when going overseas. Ensure all visas are acquired before travel.  Stage

Performance must always be top-class

Artistes and athletes have the same type of jobs, they must “show up” on the day. There is no excuse for them. They must be ready once they are listed to perform. Live Shows must be about an experience. Ensure you are ready to deliver on that experience. The artiste must liken himself/herself to a sport star who is expected to win a race, score a goal, or score 40 points a game, or a touchdown. Patrons deserve better. Stage 1

Artistes should invest in knowing what their audiences want and deliver when required. Live Shows are the pathway to a fan outside of when they buy your music to hear you via a recording. Real artistes add more to their recordings and leaves a fan wanting more.

Artistes should NEVER short-change their live performance set by thinking they can perform without 1. sound check 2. rehearsal 3. research into what the audience history is – Your portfolio should be diverse enough to make the adjustments necessary.

The next article will look at personal branding, social media and how to use that to enhance their image.

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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.