Posted in Care, Caribbean, Cricket, Football, Sport, travel, West Indies

Self Care – Part 4 – Sport Travel

Following from the last guide which advised you to “go somewhere you’ve never been”, this time I am encouraging you to do some sport travel.

When one thinks of sport travel in this context, there are so many events to choose from. You can start from the gigantic World Cup Football, scheduled to start in Russia in less than a month https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/

140612_EM_PriceSoccerFan_Adidasball_1

Football (Soccer) is the most watched sport in the world and I know some folks would have planned this from as far back as two years ago. Some tips in going to events of this kind:

  • Get the schedule of the event, early
  • Secure tickets (early) to matches you really want to see
  • Ensure you travel in a group of at least four
  • Book hotels/homes closest to the venues; you may choose to walk home sometimes, but it is just enough distance to catch a cab if necessary
  • On the off-day, try the attractions and the eateries – sample the culture and elegance of the location

The experts in travel would say “this is a way to enjoy Russia, while watching football.”  May the best team win!

Now there are other major sporting global events one can choose from, for example, the Summer Olympic Games, the Winter Olympic Games, World Championships of every kind – Cricket, Track and Field, Volleyball and any other sport you desire.

There are some other bucket list events one may choose from and these are becoming more attractive to the discerning sport tourist than ever before. The television broadcasts with 23 cameras and replays won’t deter these folks from attending events like:

Wimbledon: – At the start of July, tennis fans will descend on London to watch the greatest tennis professionals in the world compete to win the 2018 Wimbledon title. It is how to enjoy London while at Wimbledon, read more details here https://www.roadtrips.com/blog/experience-london-wimbledon/

Wimbledon
Tennis at its best

With Tiger Woods making a comeback, golf has again become exciting and since last November in Nassau for the Hero Challenge http://tigerwoods.com/schedule-stats/ he has single-handedly brought back old fans and some new fans to the sport. Tiger’s performances, specifically in Valspar, Arnold Palmer and the Masters were enough for you to want to see him up close and personal. The US Open, June 14 – 17 in New York could be a great time to go see him. Start planning, you still have time.

Tiger Woods
Arnold Palmer Invitational, Bay Hill, Orlando

WINDIES Women are the defending world champions for the Twenty20. This year, at the first ever stand-alone ICC World T20 Championship, the West Indies will play hosts. St Lucia, Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda are the three countries designated.

2018_ICC_Women's_World_Twenty20_Logo
The World comes to the West Indies – November 2018

Plan to be there from November 9 – 24. This Championship features ten of the world’s best women’s teams in cricket. The final schedule will be announced in June because there is a qualifier to select the last qualifier and so, while those fixtures aren’t quite ready, you can start looking around for tickets. It can even be a gift for you or for a friend.

In the meantime, plan for World Track and Field Championship 2019, Doha, Qatar, next September  and the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. That said, when you’re on your next sport trip, here’s some advice:

  • When you travel in a group, ensure you all stay together, set time limits for departure from hotel to matches and back (first safety tip)
  • Stay hydrated – there are always long walks involved
  • Leave all the expensive trinkets at home, some item you cherish always gets lost

Sport travel can be fun and exciting, but can also be stressful. Plan!

#OneLove

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Athletes, Caribbean, Coaching, Football, Jamaica, Leadership, Management, Sport

Football in Jamaica – the preferred pathway

November 12 – Even before the 2017 version of the Manning, DaCosta, Ben Francis, Walker and Flow Super Cup competitions end, I would like to make some suggestions to the folks who manage football in Jamaica. This includes all the organizations with Prep, Primary, High, Club and Elite football under its purview.

The traditional competitions all together have brought us to the ultimate in 1998, when Jamaica participated in the World Cup of Football. That is what all countries dream of.

What has happened since? And what will happen now? I have suggested over and over that Jamaica needs the football program. It is the sport that will bring the best opportunity for investment and the sport that is likely to attract the greatest level of support in sponsorship, if shown to be well-organized and bearing fruit.

What does this mean?

  1. Prepare a plan that speaks to the pathway to achieve the ultimate (another appearance in World Cup)
  2. Invest in the technical development of all those involved – coaches, officials, strength and conditioning experts, academicians, analysts, other support teams
  3. Improve the facilities – for competition, for training and preparation
  4. ISSA and the JFF must sit together and figure out how the schools’ program feed into the professional/elite program, and what if any adjustments are required     Team-Building       This system then has to match what our competitors are doing globally in this particular age group. We will match the outputs to see what adjustment may be necessary to ensure that the Under 17, Under 23 and Senior levels of football are on par. In the meantime, the academic development  of the athletes must also be comparable. ISSA as a governing body for school sports require a research unit to assemble this information and put a strategic plan to share with its stakeholders for 1. Buy-in 2. Delivery and ultimately for results. Development takes time and we have to be prepared to do the work.

For Jamaica to get back to the World Cup, the timeframe for this cycle, 2017 – 2022, must be in planning stage now and I would hope that this planning in happening behind the scenes. Remember now, sport is judged (ultimately) by Olympic medals, appearances in World Cup/Championship and athletes being able to the among those with the biggest pay checks and endorsement packages.

Is our system ready to absorb this? If so, it is time. So whether the remedy is to reorganize school football, club football and senior program, then now is as good a time. We can acknowledge our traditions by maintaining names of competitions etc, but we must embrace a new way of thinking and approach the sport as a business to meet the goal as required.

The 17-year old in Germany, England, Australia and Brazil is on a path to World Cup…are our players at the same age at the same point? We can no longer depend on talent, as we have seen where that has placed us. We need strategy at all levels to compete.

You may refer to this column I wrote July this year, http://web.jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20170724/carole-beckford-jamaica-and-football-leadership

Or you can go back to October 2012 http://carolebeckford.blogspot.com/2012/10/jamaica-needs-football-programme.html

#GetinTheGame

 

 

 

Posted in Athletes, Football, Jamaica, Leadership, Management, politics, Sport

Jamaica and Football Leadership

Football, potentially the sport to bring biggest economic returns to Jamaica is searching for a new President. Since Jamaica’s qualification to the World Cup in 1998, successes have been intermittent.

Football is the richest sport globally. Football also has the biggest television audience globally. Outside of the National Basketball Association (NBA), USA-based, football players combined represent the highest paid athletes in the world. That says a lot; but doesn’t quite add up for Jamaica.

Read here for reference http://www.totalsportek.com/most-popular-sports/

The search for a new President to lead Jamaica into the 2022 and 2026 World Cups (which should be the aim); must be based on a number of things. I will attempt to highlight some qualities, skill-sets and maybe even personality traits of who I think the leader should have most if not all.

The person should be

  • A Leader
  • A Manager
  • A mobilizer
  • A doer
  • A visionary

That leader should be a contemporary leader, one who can take us from vision to reality. There are some key success factors that this leader should be able to manage in the vision to reality road. He/She must be aware of the:

  • Political
  • Economic
  • Social
  • Technological

…impact the sport has to offer and therefore requires a team that can deliver with all this in mind. I know some of you are reading this and saying, but that is storybook type leadership. True, these things are written in books, but having worked in a few sporting organizations, I can tell you of the value of these factors.

In plain language though…it is important to have someone who knows the lay of the land; but should possess the pizzazz needed to transform national expectations to international goals, while attending to the needs of the boardroom.

The business of football is massive and with so many options to choose from in terms of income stream for athletes; income stream for countries via hosting of events and just the networking opportunities; Jamaica must seek to mobilize the best sporting mind to lead what could one of the biggest decisions we are due to take in Jamaica in a long time.

My suggestion is: go rational and not emotional; think with your head and not your heart. At the risk of sounding cold, pick the person who can transform the football in Jamaica into the most successful sporting bodies.

I won’t use this article to pick who I think is best to lead, but what I can say is the person exists in Jamaica.

What this means therefore is

  • Fix the schools’ programme (Manning and Dacosta Cups)
  • Fix the club system (make it more manageable and meaningful)
  • Prepare an international calendar
  • Host more matches at home (the office is a great location)
  • Negotiate good deals for broadcast
  • Expand your manager roles in your clubs. Have people who know the business manage players for the best results
  • Grow the business so experts/employees get paid competitive salaries

Nationally, we need to:

  • Improve playing facilities
    • Only use certified grounds
  • Review roster of officials
  • Have a better mix of experts at the top

Football globally has enough politics…so I say “stay away from the politicians.”

Jamaica needs a well-run football programme to sustain its stay as a sporting brand with all the returns necessary. Choose wisely!

#StayInTheGame

Posted in Caribbean, Sport

UWI Sports moving in the right direction

February 7 – In September 2012 when Dalton Myers and his team launched the Road to the Premier League football campaign, there were lots of raised eyebrows around. Actually some thought it was ‘mission impossible’. Today the UWI Football team competes with the best in the league and beats them from time to time.

To quote a story from the Gleaner in January “Debutants UWI FC are holding their own in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL). They have taken 23 points from 19 games and are currently eighth in the standings with 23 point.” This was a story which also spoke about making two deals before the transfer window was closed. Now this means that “UWI Sports means business.”

While the mixed bag of achievements with regards to the football programme overhaul is noted, the team in the UWI Sports Department has been busy with their Social Media roll out as part of an overall marketing development plan.

Here is an example of what the website offers http://www.mona.uwi.edu/sports/

UWI 2

But there is more, the official twitter page for the UWI Mona Pelicans looks like and with some more followers should be a force to be reckoned with in College Sport in Jamaica.

UWITwitter

A number of other initiatives have come on board among which is a YouTube station which highlights a lot of the sporting activities and there is a SMS Sports update too. Myers has promised that for the 2016/2017 Academic Year – following a full review of existing plans, the department will offer an official update to show the progress of those plans made just about three to four years ago.

“The dynamism of the sports business requires us to be always making adjustments day by day, but the team and I are clear on the mandate and we seek help and assistance where required,” noted Myers. “What the UWI represents with the variety of offerings, we make to make sport one of the outstanding areas of university life,’ added Myers.

Athlete achievement by its own definition can be at times subjective, because when you have someone like Olympian Hansle Parchment who took bronze in the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games and silver in the 2015 World Championships in Beijing in the 110 metres hurdles; you would think you have a wonderful student-athlete, but there is a list which represents a cross-section of sport from 2012.

The list features netball with Thristina Harwood being voted MVP at the World Netball Fast5 in 2013; cricketer, Paul Palmer selected to represent Jamaica in the regional competitions; an average of eight students being selected to represent various teams in track and field; success at the Penn Relays; two national hockey players – these are just some of the many places the student-athletes from the UWI have ended up. And there is so much more. Since 2010, the scholarship programme which used to only benefit athletes in three disciplines, that number has moved to ten as of 2015.

The various sporting teams have stayed very close to the top and can be seen in a number of finals in Inter-Collegiate competitions; but it is really the national representation that seals the deal to let the UWI know “we are on the right path in sport development as an academic institution,” reiterated Myers.

The outreach and development programme is probably one of the newest initiatives and while fairly active in the August Town community; the relationships with other universities internationally is one which the Sports Team at the UWI wants to strengthen. The swimming camp (Winter Training) which was facilitated with the McMaster University in December – is an example of “how we would like to include international partnerships” and those efforts, while requiring more comprehensive plans “will help to strengthen the capacity of the UWI Sports Programme,” said Myers.

The UWI Sports team will have a number of activities for the rest of the calendar year 2016 and has its eyes sets on

  • Improved ranking in the Red Stripe Premier League
  • Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games
  • Any national/international selection for its students.

Myers was sure with additional resources to boost his existing programme “the UWI can do much more for sport in Jamaica, the Caribbean and continue to make an indelible mark on world sport.”

 

Posted in Branding, Caribbean, Media, Reggae Boyz

Football is of great value to the Jamaican economy

KINGSTON, October 10 – Quite the contrary, Sport is not just fun and games. It is so much more. It is actually BIG business. Since Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz qualified for France in 1998 I think there began a realization among the sport power brokers in Jamaica that there are major business opportunities in sport. Football at the time is and remains the number one sport in the world. That measurement is the television audience which is growing closer to 4 billion. The recent World Cup Football 2014 held in Brazil saw world record figures.

Take for example, the match between the USA and Ghana was watched by 11.1 million on ESPN in the United States, setting a new record for ESPN coverage of a men’s FIFA World Cup match. Another highlight is 42.9 million watched Brazil and Croatia on Brazilian channel TV Globo, the highest sports broadcast of 2014. You can read the full article here http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/news/y=2014/m=6/news=tv-viewing-breaks-records-in-first-fifa-world-cup-matches-2378078.html

Read this report if you have the time too and you will see that WC 2014 was a watershed moment for football (soccer) in the USA as the viewership was more than the 2014 NBA final and the 2013 Major League Baseball series http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/02/44/29/89/fifaworldcupinnumbers_120714_v7_eng_neutral.pdf – that is a major accomplishment.

Amidst all the recent FIFA issues with its leadership and the calls from sponsors and other supporters for its President, Sepp Blatter to step away; the sport is enjoying its highest level of visibility ever. Here is another bit of information confirming the sport’s popularity http://sports-facts.top5.com/the-worlds-top-5-most-watched-sporting-events/?page=2

How can Jamaica benefit?

Saw a feature by Andrew C Edwards recently talking about developing the Jamaican footballer. Here is the link to the article http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Lessons-from-afar-as-we-aim-to-develop-the-total-Jamaican-footballer_19232628 – “One of the key points he made though, was Our players must demonstrate an insatiable appetite for winning; they must demonstrate a desire to win at all times regardless of circumstance. For all intents and purposes, winning is not only measured by results, or at least not by immediate results when dealing with young players. Learning to play the game “properly” is an important seed for the fruit of future winnings.”

I also wrote some months ago that Jamaica needs the football programme http://carolebeckford.blogspot.com/2012/10/jamaica-needs-football-programme.html – the point of the article was to highlight that Jamaica being able to maintain stability – The administration of the JFF has to then focus on accountability, transparency and must engage the newest forms of management expertise available, using technology to enhance its message. The support services for the sport have to be managed using the tertiary level institutions allowing for young players to move on to collegiate football to gain valuable experience on and off the field. The number of coaches, officials must increase, but offer quality and impartial service all aimed at growing the sport. Jamaica has to go back to the day where the natural progression from primary to college football is seen as the way to enter the national programme, developing the Jamaican Brand of Football. The island currently boasts the fastest men and women in the world. What of football? Isn’t it high time the Jamaican football brand is known and established into the minds of people firstly in Jamaica and also to the rest of the world.

Although the country has a number of sporting disciplines which can attract certain levels of financial investment, I believe that without a stable football programme – the sport assets of Jamaica are at risk.

Let’s play ball!

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

Jamaica has to develop its sport industry

KINGSTON, September 10 – Jamaica’s participation in world events has been ongoing for almost 70 years. The 1948 Summer Olympic Games in London is recorded as one of the first major events. What this signifies that the island has valued the work of sportsmen and women from way back then. Internationally an Olympic Gold medal epitomizes the highest achievement any athlete or team can get aside from the now more commercially viable trade of the highest paid athlete in your field. Back then the sport was done for glory to self, country and family and even school/institution…fast forward to now, it is now that and how much money can one make to earn and live a decent life.

The professionalism of sport has raised a number of issues and the sport that can attract the highest number of television viewers globally is determined as the “richest” sport in the world. We have also seen where the franchise system has been used effectively to show some level of equity among the professional athletes. Common to all sporting disciplines though is the amount of endorsements and salaries a “star” player/athlete can attract.

There are a number of estimates for the world sport industry’s value and the last one according to AT Kearney is 648 million US dollars. However, a KPMG study also shows that those figures will grow from between 11 – 15 per cent up to 20 years from now because of the demand of consumers. The point is, sport is BIG business.

The information exists globally and Jamaica recognizing the value of sport to its GDP need to determine how it will put systems in place to show how the sector can be developed into an industry.

Support for athletes in Jamaica

Jamaica’s ability to prepare athletes for international competition at the World Championship and Olympic levels is an indication of some seriousness about sport as an industry. The number of sporting disciplines are now over 40 and each constitutionally have management teams which are elected by a democratic process. The Ministry of Labour also has information which declares that the sector employs up to 28,000 and that accounts for its contribution to society. To indicate some of those in the sector are teachers, coaches, match officials, journalists, psychologists, trainers, nutritionists, sports scientists, educators. Those are just some categories for now. The professional athletes are now becoming a larger bunch within that sector. That to me is enough to constitute growth from a sector to an industry. The fact that sport can attract earnings from

  • Content
  • Events
  • Rights
  • Packages

FG-Sports-Market-4

Properties. The properties managed by rights owners are the intangible assets that draw fans and money. They include a wide range of parties, including leagues (Red Stripe Premier League) Netball Jamaica Super League; Teams (Harbour View Football Club, Racers and MVP) and athletes.

Rights management. Historically, monetization of properties was based on gate “take” (revenues) but now professional sports depend on media and marketing rights for more sources of revenues. Rights owners, or sports agencies acting on their behalf, not only structure the deals but also trade media and marketing rights.

Events. Effective rights management depends first on operating live events. An enjoyable experience for fans can create additional opportunities for revenue.

Content. The stadiums can only seat a certain number of fans, but packaging content for broadcasters’ and sponsors’ needs is a vital part of creating revenue in modern sports.

Structured around these four pillars, the sports value chain becomes a virtuous circle. Shaping a property can help increase its value through tailored rights management and content packaging can make it more attractive. For example, when cricket organizers created “Twenty20” cricket in 2003, shortening the typical game from several days to a few hours, they shaped a format better suited to live broadcasting.

– See more at: https://www.atkearney.com/paper/-/asset_publisher/dVxv4Hz2h8bS/content/the-sports-market/10192#sthash.MMBhn7Vs.dpuf

Jamaica vs Global Trends 

Jamaica has done consistently well in track and field globally. The medal tally has put the island in the top five nations of the over 200 countries that participate in those events. Jamaica’s ranking in football has been inconsistent falling in and out of the top 100. That is a recipe for not being able to attract significant sums of partnership for football and so the preparation of the national football team is always at risk. Why have I drawn those comparisons? Globally, football remains the sport with the biggest number of global viewers and is determined the richest sport in the world. FIFA despite its recent controversy has managed to keep football on top of its game. Forbes valued the 2010 World Cup in South Africa at US$147,000,000 – but attracted three million attendees. Forbes has also listed in a report published last year, that the among the top sporting brands are the Super Bowl, Summer Olympics, Major League Baseball and the UEFA Champions League. Importantly though the Olympics has the highest TV Revenue of a whopping 3.8 billion dollars.

Jamaica must aim to do well in the football programme to be able to negotiate better investment opportunities for its sport assets. While track and field, netball and even swimming based on medal tally and world ranking can be considered Jamaica’s top sporting disciplines, those sporting disciplines do not offer the best bargaining opportunities.

Institutionalizing a national sport policy has to be of great importance at this juncture as in a developing economy a government/policy leaders have to be able to determine how it facilitates the sectors which offer the best return on investment while showing credence to those sectors which offer greatest opportunities for its residence to do business and acquire wealth.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) in its Economic and Social Survey of Jamaica (ESSJ) has over the years cursorily indicated that the Sport sectors contributes up to three per cent to GDP. Those figures are limited to the system’s inability to collect figures from events, media and other areas of income. Those are some of the things that have to be improved to enable sport as an economic activity in the Jamaican context. The plan going forward must realise that

  • Sport is a service sector
  • Sport employs people
  • Sport uses equipment and supplies of high value
  • Sport can be tangibly presented as economic impact
  • Sport is a sector that should be incentivised to attract public-private sector partnership

How to help athletes 

As recommended in other spaces, I would like the following to happen less than a year before the #RoadToRio2016 and even while the 2018 World Cup Football campaign is on…

  • Finalise negotiations for the health scheme with the athletes contributing
  • Offer them access to nutrition services
  • Upgrade existing training venues with better accessories for support
  • Complete equipment inventory so the necessary shot term waivers can be applied
  • Look at the academic curriculum in educational institutions to ensure the offerings are projected towards the expected changes in the business of sport
  • Implement as much of the national sport policy as possible
  • Rationalise existing agencies that has sport as a subject

Regionally there are some opportunities are available too and with the current population the Caribbean can benefit from shared services https://carolebeckford.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/elite-centre-concept-for-the-caribbean/

In 2012 I made this call http://carolebeckford.blogspot.com/2012/10/jamaica-needs-football-programme.html – that is still relevant today – #RoadToRussia2018

Jamaica’s efforts are commendable, but it presents an opportunity to be creative over the next five year cycle to seriously make sport an industry of choice for Jamaica.

#JustDoIt

Posted in Uncategorized

A better TV product can drive bigger pay day for track and field athletes

JANUARY 2:  With the World Cup Football scheduled for this summer, the television viewership for football will increase even more. It is already number one, boasting up to 3.5 billion viewers.

The draw for the ‘greatest show on earth’ sets up for a highly competitive series of games. Pundits have begun to suggest that groups D and G are the ‘groups of death’ and so we anticipate chart stopping performances not just from those groups, but all round. See the draw in the groups http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/index.html

So far though, the sport of football has taken away significant portions of funds available for sports for this year, as the exposure to any product/service from June 12 to July 13 is key to any global brand. With the Commonwealth Games scheduled for Glasgow, Scotland from July 23 to August 12…the question is, how will those Games fare in terms of ability to attract big bucks for TV rights?

The USA college system is projected to seeing $2.3 billion of funds flowing up to 2020 and while they are trying to determine whether to adopt a play-for-pay model, the other sports could very well be affected by its ability to raise funds. Bear in mind, the collegiate system is not a professional league.

Let’s look at the NBA, where in 2007, ABC/ESPN and TNT paid a combined 7.4 billion to the NBA to air games on television. That revenue though is divided into 30 and those are the amount of teams in that league. Can that even be possible in track and field?

The NBA has made their game a made-for-tv-event and so its revenues are directly related to television audiences worldwide, even though the franchises separately, have created a variety of experiences in the respective cities. Think what happens in the major cities if you are a Los Angeles, Miami, Oklahoma, or a New York fan.

Image

Track and Field has to create a package which is more television friendly outside of the Olympic and World Championship experience to sustain and improve the value of the sport in between those times and so sets itself up to be able to offer more to its athletes. The salaries for track and field athletes are not comparable to their colleagues in other disciplines.

The effort by Doyle Management http://doylemanagement.com/7-reasons-to-be-excited-about-the-american-track-league-2014/ to bring the ‘American Dream” template to track and field, may just be the game-changer. The plan to launch this year http://doylemanagement.com/american-track-league-to-launch-in-2014/ will see at least five events with on and off the field activities starting in May aimed at reaching the super fan, the TV fan and curious onlookers.

The USA market has been deemed the marketing capital of the world, and has been known to influence television viewership in several sporting disciplines…maybe just maybe it is time for track and field. The IAAF could very well develop a new marketing programme which could attract way more athletes, increase revenue and improve its image by adding the element of a product friendlier for television.  The IAAF could also target up to ten venues across the globe which can be re-defined for a greater fan experience – in and around Europe, but with some focus on the Americas, north and south.

The sport industry’s value is not decreasing, but is more available to the best packaged product. The track and field athletes are on the same magazine covers, same night time television shows, have been known to tilt television ratings, but earn significantly less…that should change up to 2016 (next Summer Olympic Games) and beyond.

Over to you IAAF!