Posted in Leadership

Internships – My View

An internship is job training for a career – by choice or by requirement. The two major reasons for an internship, as I know it, are:

·         Job training

·         Fulfilling an academic mandate

An internship can help a student to figure out if they are or will be interested in a particular career and may eventually determine if the organization they got placed in, is somewhere they want to work in after graduation.

Internships have evolved and some organizations have collaborated with Corporate entities as part of

·         Corporate Social Responsibility

·         Community Development

·         Recruitment

Internship

Over the years, students have benefitted as more and more, there is a paid internship. History has shown that an internship is an exchange of services and the academic institution is obligated to offer the student the stipend package to afford the students the opportunity. This stipend ranges from costs to cover transportation, meals and “pocket” money. More recently, some companies have offered minimum pay to the student. That said the arrangement should include some level of payment.

The internship programme, an international practice, varies based on the region, but the common thing is, the intention is to offer students an opportunity to get a taste of the work world.

As an undergraduate and graduate student I was involved in a number of internships for three credits at a time. This was in the 1995 – 1998 period. The first one was for my broadcasting studies. I got no pay, none. It was at CBS Radio 88 in New York City. I had to be at work before 5am as I was placed on that shift with the well-sought after Ed Ingles. I woke up at 3:30 for 15 weeks, one day a week and I got an A for the course. I graduated. For the same BSc I did another at Consumers Union in Yonkers and I got paid US$12 an hour. It was also a three-credit course. I also got an A. For the MSc I opted to work in the HR Unit on campus and I got US$8 per hour. I did get another A.

All three experiences were great. One was to connect to the industry…and by the way, I got Knicks, Giants and Rangers tickets for free. The 2nd and 3rd were more fulfilling as I got paid, but I was just as committed to all three.

Educational institutions in designing courses of study must decide how they want to integrate students into the work world in a changing economic environment. Internships therefore have to be a lien item on both sets of institutions.

 

The integrity of the internship programmes is to be judged on a few things

·         Relevance to the course/s of study

·         Value added for the student

·         Impact of the organization of the potential workforce

·         How does the country benefit from the exchange between private/public sector and academic development

It is also important to note the differences between an internship, apprenticeship, practical study and vocational study. All have benefits to both students and institutions. The programmes should have an evaluation component which looks at the benefits and downfall to ensure, going forward; there is an adjustment which is market-ready and impacting for all.

 Internship 2

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Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Branding, Leadership, Management, Sport

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.

Posted in Branding, Leadership, Management, Sport

Ten Things An Athlete Must Always Remember

Saturday, January 9 – This week could almost be described a distraction to sports. After news flashed about the off the field matters of cricket’s Chris Gayle, football’s YaYa Toure and Luis Suarez, we now know that the off the field activities are scrutinized even more than ever. We also see where the IAAF and FIFA continue to make the news for boardroom issues rather than the next World Cup or Olympic Games.

With that said though and with the evidence and chronicling of all those events, are athletes role models or the right symbols? I leave that for you to answer.

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This blog will serve though as a reminder to all aspiring, current and even retired athletes that whether you are running, jumping, bowling, batting, swimming or riding, you are under constant watch and here are some things you should remember…

  1. Your sport is your work, and when you are at work, you should conduct yourselves in an appropriate manner
  2. When you are at work, you must consider your work colleagues and how your work may impact on them
  3. You are what you text, tweet, post on Facebook, YouTube or any other social media space
  4. Even in off-season you are still the star and so your conduct should still be in keeping with good standards
  5. During this time sit with an expert who can guide you on how to communicate in the most effective and efficient way
  6. Your country must come first. It is really where you got your start
  7. Align yourselves with the right brands and maximise while you are still active
  8. Create a Foundation somewhere in the middle of your career, it will become a great way to give back
  9. Sign autographs once in a while
  10. Do not ingest any substances you cannot declare

Leigh Steinberg in a column in 2012 wrote – professional sports is only a gateway for the few. But when Heavyweight Boxing Champion Lennox Lewis said on a public service announcement that “Real Men Don’t Hit Women” he made a great contribution to young people’s perception of what is embodied in true masculinity. Disaffected teenagers may tune out authority figures–parents, teachers, and commercial messages. A superstar athlete can permeate that perceptual screen to deliver a message of inspiration and hope.

Whether or not you choose to become a role model, you become one.

 

Posted in Branding, Caribbean, Leadership, Management, Media, Music, Sport

Sports management and leadership going forward

December 9 – For the purpose of this article, I will list a few things about the current global sports market and how it can impact on economic development. When we talk about the sports market today, we think of

  1. Broadcast rights – television, internet, mobile devices, satellite radio and local radio
  2. Sponsorship and Naming Rights
  3. Merchandising – from a pin to an anchor
  4. Ticketing

In other words the market is wide open. The audience is no longer divided by borders, but instead sports content can be consumed anywhere, anytime and anyone with a device and if one is at the right place at the right time.

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Now, more athletes are getting paid and more athletes are getting a lot of money. Some sports however have to contend with the view that worldwide audiences among them vary depending on whether the event is a National Championship, Regional Championship, World Championship or is a feature of an Olympic Games (summer/winter).

Administration 

The sporting organisations which up to 30 years ago were largely run by volunteers are now being run by business executives with specific expertise in commercial operations, marketing and business development. What has happened too is the organisations are becoming flatter. The FIVB for example replaced the hierachy with a President, Executive Vice Presidents from the (strategic) regions and Commissions to ensure the work is carried out – see more on the structure here http://www.fivb.org/EN/FIVB/Executive_Committee.asp

While FIFA is currently experiencing turmoil and retains the number one slot for television audience worldwide, volleyball, unbelievably is in the top five. The beach element remains one of the most watched in the Summer Olympics Games. According to Mintzberg and Quinn (1991) “organisations with political designs have no dominant mechanism of coordination,”; in a table used by Thibault and Quarterman, Contemporary Sport Management, the summary shows that a sporting organisation with a simple design yields greater efficiency.

The publication goes on to state that the simple structures are accompanied by strategic plans to cope with the ‘environment’. The environment sport is in today speaks to commercial viability based on the four key areas mentioned in the top of this article.

Obviously the text would reference the information in a situation where the athletes/teams for which these plans are in effect for are at the top of their games and so all is required is to adjust structure and governance to bring success.

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Sporting dynasties are not on extended wins as much as they were and new franchises, teams, countries are emerging to clip the dominance of those which once were always winning. The scientific approach to sports is in play and those who invest from the bottom up will have sustained top performances for years to come.

Caribbean in a dilemma

The Caribbean Sporting Industry has to re-focus its attention on an economic model one which has teams/athletes that can attract highest levels of sponsor partnership; one where athletes get endorsements from products and services in the region and certainly where consumers can get access to the content. What then can the Caribbean do to ensure that it captures some of the pie of the ever-growing sport market?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Make travel across the Caribbean more reasonable and convenient
  • Upgrade venues to host traditional and non-traditional events
  • Maximise media rights arrangements
  • Train existing personnel and make efforts to attract the next generation to be a part of the industry
  • Tertiary-level institutions should do much more research into the prospects for the industry
  • Create a package of regional sporting ambassadors

The Caribbean has enough stars of its own, it can create applicable merchandise to supply the world as the events and venues are properly prepared and managed.

A recent cultural and creative industries study done by CISAC – the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers – is pleased to present the release of a new study published by EY titled “Cultural Times – The First Global Map of Cultural and Creative Industries”.

For the first time, this survey quantifies the global economic and social contribution of this important sector. The study analyses 11 Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) sectors: advertising, architecture, books, gaming, movies, music, newspapers/magazines, performing arts, radio, television and visual arts. The top three employers are visual arts (6.73m), books (3.67m) and music (3.98m). While the study has not pointed to sport content in particular – we know sport is such a valuable component to all the areas mentioned.

Read the study when you have the time http://www.worldcreative.org/

The need to consolidate all the efforts is urgent and the Caribbean has to identify that its culture (sport too) is world recognised as one of the most known worldwide, but the figures don’t add up.

The call is for the region to pull all the resources and use the 2016 Olympic preparation platform to guide and provide a template for three to five years.

Team-Building

Posted in Branding, Caribbean, Cricket, Leadership, Management, Media, Sport

WI Cricket on a new path

KINGSTON, August 16 – The Caribbean is largely a group of islands that are developing countries. What this means is their economies are largely dependent on the sectors which can earn the fastest return on the investment. The Caribbean’s economic outlook as published by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has revealed that the islands that are tourism-dependent are the fastest growing. The global economic output expanded by an average of 3.3 per cent. However there were islands reporting growth of 4.2 per cent (St. Kitts & Nevis); 4.0 per cent (Turks and Caicos) and 3.8 per cent (Guyana). While those figures may not have any direct impact on what I am about to suggest, the Caribbean is and always will have the potential to grow.

http://www.caribank.org/uploads/2015/02/CDB-2014-Caribbean-Economic-Review-and-Outlook-for-2015.pdf

Caribbean tourism and the way it is viewed by tourists and those who manage has changed and once we admit that then we are off to a great start. Tourism is officially about the authentic experience of a destination – its people, food, attraction, history, culture, sport, night life and efficiencies. We have to move past the sun, sea and sand concept which has been overused. The sophisticated tourist of 2015 and beyond wants more.

Cricket as a focus for the Caribbean

Let me therefore get to the point,  I want to make… for the last 20 years, West Indies Cricket has not performed up to standard and outside of the shortened version of the game, the ranking has been less than favourable. What that suggests too is successive management and leadership teams have failed to put in place the environment to do a few things

  • Create and sustain an effective development programme
  • Attract the best Caribbean athletes to the game of cricket
  • Create an environment which should make more of our cricketers marketable and more attractive to brands worldwide
  • Attract partnerships to spur positive economic activity
  • Partner with the players association for more feasible programmes

All these and more made cricket unattractive to the discerning eye. During that time too, the media had a field day with the animosity that grew with several sections of the cricket fraternity. Very few of the stories though focused on how the failing image of cricket can be recovered. During that time too, the CARICOM committee on cricket forgot its role; secondary schools across the region paid less attention to teaching cricket as a subject in Physical Education; sponsors turned a blind eye and the small core of the fraternity maintained a stranglehold and pretty much did what they wanted to do.  Those years could be dubbed – the Broken Image of WI Cricket.

Here are some facts which I think can help you put WI cricket in context

  • Cricket is the second most viewed sport on television worldwide
  • There is a cricketer in the top 50 paid athletes in the world
  • Cricketers are among the top 100 athletes followed on Twitter/Facebook
  • West Indies Cricket is still among the most watched and up to five players from the current set up are among top cricket plays each month
  • Only recent was a cricket nominated for an ESPY award

Those facts make cricket even more attractive at the world-level. What of the West Indies? Fast forward to 2013 Summer when the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) was hosted for the first time and the region woke up to this spectacle. Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago are so far winners. Lots of questions are being asked about the economic potential or lack thereof of the CPL; which island is able to continue or not and with some of the other programmes worldwide accommodating less of our players, what will the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) do?

According to the developers, the Caribbean Premier League is a T20 tournament that showcases the beauty and talent of the Caribbean to the world. The best cricketers that the West Indies play alongside their international counterparts, in the unique carnival atmosphere for which the Caribbean is world-renowned. The CPL draws the attention of millions of cricket fans across the globe. That is the latest addition to the cricketing world from the Caribbean. Here is a fact though: The world still sees and ranks cricket based on Test and One Day International performance.

For more on the CPL go to http://cplt20.com/

Since the CPL, the WICB has developed the Professional Cricket League (PCL) – a four-day competition – for the last two seasons done the following

  • Assembled a bunch of professional players that can pay attention to just their game
  • Paid professional administrators at the territorial body level
  • Expanded the domestic season to, along with other tournaments, nine months
  • Presented more commercial assets for partnerships

With the PCL only starting last season, it is expected with support from the secondary schools system and the reorganisation of clubs in the region, the talent pool will not only grow in numbers but should expose the available talent.

Government has a role, but what…

Much has been suggested that the WICB has not listened to recommendations from reports etc, however, the real role of governments and other policy leaders should include

  • Ensuring that Physical Education remains a core subject at the secondary school level
    • Mandate that cricket be taught in schools so there is a path to growth
    • High school cricket>>>club cricket>>>regional cricket>>>>on the path to representing the WI
  • Provide incentives to clubs that perform at the top on and off the field
  • Encourage clubs to have foundations which serve to aid in continuity programmes
  • Facilitate the clubs to use cricket as a tool for social development and inclusion
  • Look at the academy model to re-engage youth at risk

The fact is, any country/region that has a top sporting team doing well will attract support from brands who desire the exposure and the Caribbean, being a hot bed of talent must refocus its attention on cricket, football and basketball as disciplines which worldwide attract the widest level of support including television rights which is among the top income earner. The political involvement from Government should be re-directed to development of programmes that encourages cricket to be taught in the classroom and nurtured at the secondary level.

The head of the players association has said the PCL is in its teething stages. Like in other jurisdictions where professionalization of sport is becoming more popular, participating for the first time in a professional set-up of that nature must help towards a successful programme in the medium to long term for the regional team. It has brought some success, but we know that for us to get what we really want out of this professional set-up we have to fix loopholes and keep improving the competition and the structure so we can produce outstanding cricketers and who play an outstanding brand of cricket for all to see and enjoy,” were some of the comments Wavell Hinds made.

Like in the other sporting disciplines, if the sport/subject is taught in organised formats, enhanced by age group competition at home and abroad, in three to five years, the national team will have much better options and with more effective and strategic coaching, can help push the WI team closer to the top.

While the legacy of the past is remarkable and should serve as inspiration to perform at the highest level, the current set up must represent its own generation with a bit of “history repeating itself” – WI must and should rise.

The decentralizing of the current system in the management of the WICB and its operations has placed the regional development squarely in the hands of the territorial boards. That same process empowers the territorial boards to act with goals in mind. The WICB has taken a consultative approach to the progressive move and with several rounds of interaction with the balanced-scorecard-approach; the path to growth is well on its way. The region has to buy in to that process. Even the town hall meetings form part of the consultation and a number of new measures have been put in place.

Governments therefore should create the enabling environment and allow the entrepreneurs and the business (private) sector to lead. The path to winning has to be declared…the time is now.

Posted in Branding, Caribbean, FIlm, JAMPRO, Management, Media, Music, Reggae

Jamaica Film Festival holds LA launch

(Los Angeles, CA, March 2015) – Some of Hollywood’s brightest stars and entertainment executives welcomed Jamaica’s film commissioner Carole Beckford recently at a reception announcing the inaugural Jamaica Film Festival. The event was co-hosted by Hon. Consul Lorna Johnson and author/filmmaker/media entrepreneur Paula Madison in Beverly Hills, and served as a kickoff for the festival. JAMPRO, Jamaica Trade and Investment, which houses the Film Commission, will host the festival in Kingston, July 7 – 11.

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Among those in attendance were: Shaun Robinson (host of syndicated daily entertainment news program “EXTRA”); film directors Robert Townsend and Bill Duke; actors Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter; and studio executives Bruce Evans and Talitha Watkins.

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Ms. Beckford’s recent trip to Los Angeles was an opportunity to engage the Hollywood community with a focus on collaboration and partnership. Jamaica will for the first time premiere over ten films, directed, produced and made in Jamaica in time for the Festival.

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The Jamaica Film Festival is to become a marketplace for all in the business from ‘Script to Screen’ to hope for the best return on investment. The five-day event will look at workshop sessions, seminars, B2B sessions and a host of networking sessions aimed at connecting the industry at several levels. The five-day event will operate under the theme ‘Art meets Business’.

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

An economic model for sport in Jamaica?

KINGSTON, March 22 – Jamaica’s sport industry really deserves better management; one which focuses on a commercial model which can turn the economic wheels and do what is required. Any industry/sector which has a good-working economic model can do a few things
• Provide employment
• Generate wealth for individuals and organisations
• Provide a glorious opportunity for exposure for goods and services
• Be a facilitator for the development of content worthy of international consumption
• If invested properly, be a source for infrastructure development

Historically, Jamaica’s sport prowess began in 1948 at the Summer Olympic Games in London and since then the world has watched us dominate in a variety of areas on and off the field. The most outstanding being in track and field, football (soccer), basketball, boxing, netball, cricket, swimming and to a lesser extent volleyball, hockey and badminton. David Weller’s medal in cycling at the 1980 Summer Olympics is a standout.
Not many countries Jamaica’s size has affected and impacted on the rest of the world, the way the island has and I would recommend that there must be a group of visionaries who could steer the sport industry in a way that the island’s economic woes start gliding up towards a massive success story.

The inspiration behind this article is how the Inter Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) continues to mishandle the Boys and Girls Championships in a way that borders on a misfortune. The fact that they are able to attract massive sponsorship from two or more of Jamaica’s organisations (LIME and Grace) is an indication of the value of the product. However the management of related events cannot be relegated to the 2.8 million in Jamaica and the additional figure in the Diaspora, but be imposed on an international audience which demands Jamaican content.

The exposure thus far would assume an exposure to 5.6 million, but that breakdown is accustomed to this product, what of the rest of the world. Events of the CHAMPS nature have so many money making components which can be explored, exploited and maximised to earn so much more money that it is time that those opportunities be explored.

Here are some areas of value
• Ticketing
• Media broadcast
• Merchandising
• Social media
• Satellite venues

Let’s focus on ticketing for a moment and consider, in addition to the National Stadium, three other locations across Jamaica. Events management units in Jamaica with the calibre of Main Events could replicate the vibe at Champs to attract a fair sized crowd, who would otherwise enjoy watching live broadcast of the event over the five days. The sponsors could benefit too from the showcase of products and services at said locations – getting value for money. Also with additional resources the broadcast house could capitalise on additional viewers by offering interactive also on locations. The technical equipment is available.

The NFL, NBA are franchises which make up to 20 per cent of their earnings from media broadcast according to A.T. Kearney which follows a particular model, I would suggest that can be fashioned to suit Jamaica. And in additional to ticketing could account to up to 40 per cent of the earnings. What those franchises have been able to do is creating an entertaining experience for fans. Satellite venues have been tried and proven successfully and maybe what Grace and LIME can consider for 2016 is to do road shows up to a month before CHAMPS to bring awareness to the communities close to where the satellite venues would be located. Those I
would suggest would be in town centres where there is a mass appeal. So many roads shows have taken place and I would have hoped the companies’ research units would have access to that information to support this idea/ideal.

The fact is, while there is a call for a new stadium, the CHAMPS event is one of a few events which maximises the venue’s use and not sufficient enough for that type of investment at the moment. I was a witness to satellite venues at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England in 2002, when as part of a touring group, we had mostly tickets to netball, but we were happy to learn we could watch other events from a park nearby. Big screens were retrofitted with a template for crawls and spot advertisements so no one lost.
Social Media reach is now of tremendous value and the reach (multiplier) effect can provide useful information as to where your audience is. The analytics tool is also worthy of investment. Imagine getting Chris Gayle, Usain Bolt and Cedella Marley to tweet each day about #Champs2015 – together they reach up to 7 million together based on follower numbers, but reach, mentions and retweets add up to at least fives the amount. A Social Media expert team should be considered to explore those options.

The merchandising opportunity is underutilised and while the top schools use CHAMPS as a way to reach their market; Jamaica’s brand is not figured here. In the Boys category the top three, Jamaica College, Kingston College and Calabar have clear lines to reach their markets, and I would imagine the co-ed schools e.g. St. Jago; however, it is ultimately Jamaica that is on show so the discerning fan would want to wear something Jamaican. I support the use of research to fine tune already available information to inform the ISSA group of these opportunities for a greater reach of this event called CHAMPS.

Jamaicans are quick to boast that it may be the biggest high school meet anywhere in the world and maybe it is, but that is a purely emotional declaration; because until we are able to clearly see the streams of income and the impact it has on earnings for a variety of people, then we are back to square one.

The ISSA model determines now that the Principals are in charge and that game has left them and an agency with the facility of an IMG can be formed here in Jamaica to manage an event of this kind and more. What that does too, is see the event from a totally different perspective with clear(er) objectives and outcomes. How the money is distributed can be managed by efficient and workable software. We got to start trusting each other to make the best decisions for everybody’s interest.

Also with all that money floating around, the top three schools in both categories should receive cash prizes to replenish the monies spent to prepare for the event. For me personally, CHAMPS is starting to look better from the TV screen and after 35 years of watching my first CHAMPS live, I am happy relaxing with a crew over drinks and food with the access to replay and more. But I know those fans who want to still watch it live. The event should be a positive experience either way.

From all indication, CHAMPS 2015 will be close and want to wish the schools and their teams, best wishes. March 24 -28 will be a remarkable set of days for Jamaica’s track and field and as the country prepares for Beijing in 2015 and Brazil in 2016, the future is indeed very promising.