Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Branding, Sport, Sports, Track and Field

Jamaica’s Sport Industry

Jamaica’s sport industry will be hit hard with the advent of the corona virus pandemic.

The first blow came when the Inter Secondary Schools Sport Association (ISSA) was forced to cancel the 2020 edition of the Boys and Girls Championship. The event which was scheduled for March 24 – 28 was called off on Wednesday, March 11 by a team comprising the Ministry of Health and Wellness, ISSA and the lead sponsor partner, Grace Kennedy.

ISSA was quick out the blocks in estimating that at least J$150 million would have been lost. That amount would have included not just sponsor contribution, but income from broadcast rights, tickets and concessions.

The annual CHAMPS event is but one of the major calendar events which has been affected. The other sporting disciplines include an incomplete Red Stripe Premier League; Netball Jamaica was just about getting ready to start their national league in all divisions; an international volleyball club championship, scheduled for the weekend before CHAMPS, was also canceled along with several other competitions.

Subsequently, all public sporting and entertainment events have been postponed or cancelled. The only sporting event which managed to keep its foot in the door was horseracing which saw its last event being held on Saturday, March 21.

The effects on the system cannot be quantified just yet, but there are several layers that will be impacted. First off, all the athletes in all sports elite and amateur have been affected. While they are unable to compete, they are now unable to train.

Additionally, service providers, those employed directly and indirectly will all be affected; because with no events being held, there is no revenue being generated and therefore a lot of those in that industry will receive reduced pay packages for a limited time. Those who offer freelance services are on a wait and see game.

Elite Athletes

While the elite (professional athlete) may have a lifeline through the partnership with their sponsor partners, for example gear and beverage companies and other short-term partners. We await feedback from that group.

With every aspect of the industry almost coming to a halt, the fall out will be devastating. There is no timeline for the restart of any leagues now on hold. Some have been postponed indefinitely and some are considering cancellation.

National Sport budget

As a background, the Jamaican system has never been able to record a correct estimate of the contribution of the sport industry to its gross domestic product (GDP); but the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) in its annual public, the Economic and Social Survey of Jamaica (ESSJ) suggests that sports (an entertainment) contribute a combined figure of up to 3.5 per cent.

The GDP as reported for the 2019 period is $14.516 billion. The sport figure would therefore be close to $500 million.

When the Government presented its 2019/2020 budget for $803 billion the allocation for sport was $4.119 billion; a figure that has shown steady increase over the years. Certainly, in the last decade the country has participated in two Summer Olympic Games – 2012, 2016 and was about to go to its third in 2020, now postponed to 2021.

The global impact is severe and already we are seeing fallouts from all the major leagues in every sport. All have had an impact on its salaries for its professional players, full and part time staff.

We now have to live through the memories of sport, games we all love so much.

#StayInTheGame

Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Branding, Caribbean, Sport

Governance in Sport

The credibility of sporting organizations has come into question a lot in the last decade with the rise in scandals. This has caused, what some believe, a decrease in public’s trust and by extension the process of democracy.

In the meantime, sport continues to strengthen its role as a major influential institution and its process is also one which is used across corporate and a range of other organizations.

According to Hums and McLean, sport governance refers to the exercise of power with consideration given to influence, authority and the nature of decision making.

In the Caribbean we have heard cries for better governance, but we ask what this really means. Sport Australia summarizes its focus on governance to look at adopting a culture that focuses on accountability. In a lot of other jurisdictions, accountability and processes that are used to impact on policy form the general argument about what good governance should really be.

In the UK, a new code for sport was developed in April 2017 which sets out the levels of transparency, accountability and financial integrity that is required for funding from the national lottery.

While the commercialization of sport has seen incredible growth in the last decade with increased revenues and revenue streams – one of the causes of governance failures must be the slow way, especially in this region (Caribbean) that, sport, which remains a voluntary institution, still have inadequate resources to govern the modern, commercial world of sport of today.

Here’s how Adidas structure looks. One of the world’s top sporting brands

Those reasons may not hold much today, even with those facts as there are some sporting bodies that have governed well. There are four key areas that should be placed as priority to ensure each sporting body meets its mandate for accountability.

These key areas are:

  • Checks and balances – this is a system which prevents concentration of power in any one place. The concept of separation of power looks at a system which accounts for decision making being done based on roles. This process can counter any outside influences.
  • Democracy is also key – this has to do with the public good and how it stacks up against autonomy. The structure of the democratic process must reflect the accountability required. We are looking key success factors such as a legal system, compliance and even a sanctioning process. Stakeholder participation is also key to a democracy along with the way people are elected to govern
  • Perception – how people feel. A sporting body must be transparent, and its communication model must show that. All factual matters of the organization must and show find its way to the public in a timely and consistent way.
  • Diversity in offerings – sport must meet the need to be socially, environmentally and ethically aware and while meeting all the other needs of operations must find a way to meet these other needs. As sport continues to establish itself and make an impact on the wider society, there is need to refresh its goals and objectives for a comprehensive role while achieving financial success

Steps must and should be taken to hold sporting bodies accountable. Stakeholders should therefore be mindful of the people they elect to serve; while focusing on what the outcomes should be.

Governance is a process and while it is our sport leaders where the buck stops, the process starts with us, electing people who are capable, able and willing to lead and manage sport in a way we can all benefit on and off the field of play.

Volleyball is in the top five richest sport in the world – see its structure

Some progressive news on governance – The IAAF will elect its first female vice-president this year as it continues its efforts to ensure that women are represented at the highest levels of the sport. As part of the widespread reforms adopted by the IAAF Congress at the end of 2016, the IAAF has added minimum gender targets into its constitution to establish parity at all levels in the sport’s governance. This is a welcome addition to the Business of Sport.

#GetInTheGame

Posted in Athletes

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. 

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

BRING BACK JAMAICA SPORT

ON A COUCH SOMEWHERE – Back in 2012 there was a group called Sport Tourism Implementation Committee (STIC) and in 2014, there was Jamaica Sport. What was important, even with the name change, the group was assembled to provide the framework to sustainably develop sports tourism as well as leverage local and international sports events to increase visitor arrivals to the island.

National StadiumThe group was chaired by Chris Dehring with a mix of public and private sector sport officials to include skill sets of content development, planning, marketing, operations, venue development, legal to name a few. The combined years of experience could be compared to any other global sporting body and could possibly outscore given the resources, which were available at the time.

Here is a release from the Ministry of Tourism http://www.mot.gov.jm/news-releases/new-‘jamaica-sport’-entity-launched-develop-sports-tourism-locally

Jamaica sport logo

During the tenure, we worked closer with the Jamaica Tourist Board, the agency with responsibility to market Jamaica’s Brand and made considerable leap into hosting events which at the time satisfied steadily, the mandate set:

  • Growing sport in communities
  • Employing and/or using sport officials to manage events
  • Attracting tourists to Jamaica (heads to beds)
  • Considerable media attention
  • Strengthening and deepening Jamaica’s position in the Sport Tourism market

In 2015, with the limitations we had on the immigration form, the JTB was able to capture this information

Jamaica Sport

The point here is, there was tremendous potential. It was also indicated that Sport Tourists have considerable higher spend per day and will return for a vacation after. Those trends have been reported globally, so we were on to something.

Jamaica’s rich sporting history was not to be put aside, as with the consistent excellent performances at international competitions (Summer and Winter Olympics, World Championships, Major League Soccer,) there was a steady build up of the curious and discerning tourist. What was also trending, if only for a specific time, was film crews from all over who would visit to film documentaries, photo shoots, commercials and to attend CHAMPS.

The Jamaica Tourist Board has the records of the events. While the major sporting disciplines were part of the mix, the team offered some insight on what happens when targeted and network sport like Karate, Beach Volleyball, Surfing and Badminton were supported. See excerpt of a report below:

Since November 2014, an investment of US$258,000 was made toward sporting events including: CONCACAF, Netball, Badminton, Track & Field (JIIM), ITF Tennis, Beach Volley, Cricket (CPL & WI v. AUS), Masters Football, Surfing, Golf, Endurance Running, Regional Swimming, and UANA Water Polo Championships.  This generated over 20,000 room nights (4,000 heads to beds) with an overall economic impact of approximately US$6M.

Fast forward to 2016 when Jamaica Sport was dissolved (without warning), we are still struggling to find a strong hold on how to market Jamaica as sport tourist destination.

As Dalton Myers suggested in this column, “maybe we not really ready” (I paraphrased); maybe we need to stop pretending that there is interest. I can’t help but think this is an opportunity missed (again).  Click here to read http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20180915/dalton-myers-we-are-not-ready-major-sporting-events

An outlook for opportunities could include events related to:

  • CHAMPS 2019 – March 26 – 30 – Kingston
  • World Championship 2019 (track and field)
  • Summer Olympic Games 2020
  • FIFA World Cup 2022

And here’s a reminder of why sport tourists visit a destination – to be active on and off the field/court or for nostalgia. Either way, Jamaica offers both. Let’s get this show on the road. #OneLove.

1496490787162

 

Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Branding, Entertainment, Media, Music

Sport and Entertainment Agents

Sport and Entertainment are two of the biggest industries globally. There are several papers and research that will show that those two industries will grow “no matter what” even in an economic recession. There are tons of figures presented by:

·        PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC)

·        International Trade Center

·        Departments of Commerce (in top commercial centers)

 Wanted to offer that background, as with the growth of the sectors, there is room for more experts and so employment will tend to increase.

handshake-man-and-woman

Today, I want to focus on the role of an agent. The definition of an agent for the purpose of this article is “one who helps to build careers.” The most basic of an agent’s role is to handle athlete/artiste, franchises/professional teams and event promoters where applicable.

Here are some other roles:

·        Setting of goals for the athlete/artiste after sitting down with them for a detailed discussion

·        Part of a team which negotiates endorsement deals

·        Part of a team which handles public image

·        Part of a team that recommends charities and/or foundation

·        Part of a team that looks at options for retirement

That agent therefore is required to know a few things or at least have some basic training. The training can be at undergraduate level in business, law, sport management. The agent should be able to bring something to the table.

I can translate that in a simpler way to explain that an agent should: 

·        Know other influencers in the specific industry

·        Be able to make connections to grow the status of the athlete/artiste

·        Be able to get on lists that are relevant to the development of the athlete/artiste

·        Attend events where networking is available to ensure your client is represented in the best way possible

·        Get in doors, offices, boardrooms that would be otherwise unavailable

The point is, an agent is the direct link between the earnings and how an athlete/artiste is viewed by the public. The athlete/artiste must therefore choose wisely, as essentially, the business of sport and entertainment lies in the agent’s hands. Lots of opportunities for agents and lots of places to learn the business – Get in the Game for those who want to make a go at it and for those already in it – keep relevant by always learning. There are tons of conferences and workshops to attend too numerous to mention. DollarSign

Here are five professional sporting organizations you should consider for those of you interested in that industry https://www.bestcollegereviews.org/lists/five-professional-organizations-in-sports-management-to-consider-joining/

For entertainment, here are two I would recommend http://www.agents-uk.com/ or http://www.besla.org/

 “Show me the money.”  #OneLove

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

Sport in Jamaica deserves better…

Sunday, November 5 – Next year, Jamaica’s name would have been in world sporting news consistently for 70 years. Since the 1948 Summer Olympic Games the country’s athletes have maintained steady and improved global ranking in several disciplines and at times even beating the world. The athletes and administrators deserve all the praise.

The country’s brand positioning has been significantly enhanced by the global appeal of its athletes and as we close in on 2017, there is so much more to look forward to.

Jamaica boasts a solid high school sport program. The governing body for school sport, Inter Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA) has managed over several sporting disciplines out of which a significant portion of the country’s stars used as a platform to grow. Over the years, institutions, clubs and other privately run teams have managed to heighten the county’s solid achievements by forming and maintaining programs for the post-high-school era enabling the athletes not to be over dependent on international preparation. That continues.

What has not happened as consistently is the role of the policy leaders in their ability to facilitate the continued development, by putting in policies to encourage steady/continued growth in the sport sector. The institutions still struggle to find solid footing in creating a more sustainable path towards wealth creation, better facilities, a wider range of service providers which will ultimately earn the island more medals at the global level.

The suggestion that the island is poor is an excuse in my opinion. So much research has been done to show the benefits of sport and how it can change a country’s economic activities if organized, managed and facilitated in a way to bring great return on investment.

This process must look at a path which looks at the link along the lines of education, training, development, research, marketing and how those key areas can earn the most bucks; while doing that should address social inclusion for balance.

Sport in Jamaica deserves better. Better is available. Again, it is time the folks who know better can make that change.

Posted in Athletes, Branding, Caribbean, Jamaica, Management, Sport

Modernizing Sport in Jamaica

July 1 – With the guard changing on and off the field of play for athletes and administrators in Jamaica; there is a glorious now opportunity to modernize and look at new and innovative ways to manage sport in Jamaica.

Also, maybe it is time we look away from volunteerism at some levels and pay those with the expertise to run sport in a way that is professional. What is expected from sport in terms of results is not sustainable if at all levels, experts aren’t paid for their services.

That said, the industry now has to place sharp focus on prioritizing its assets and point itself towards achieving the best return on investment and by extension, while meeting the other aims of:

  • creating the best environment for athletes to perform at a maximum
  • consolidating the technical expertise to ensure all athletes benefit from the best
  • focus on care – pre, during and post
  • partnerships that will offer the athletes income that is on par with what is happening globally
  • partnering with academic institutions to provide the research necessary to prepare for the next generation
  • providing and upgrading facilities for athletes
  • fan engagement for events
  • being considered a more serious seat at the table of the Tourism product.

We are way ahead of just the feel good moments which we get when our teams/athletes win; but those of us in the know should look at the more knowledge-based approach to offer solutions for the athletes, management and eventually the country to benefit from earnings from events; an industry that employs people and one that also balances people’s lives.

We cannot be satisfied with what we have now. When we look at what athletes, brands and media rights contribute to an overall pot, it must be disheartening to see that as an island, Jamaica has the talent, technical expertise and business expertise to have a sporting industry that is making a greater contribution to its GDP.

We all know the sport we should do well at to attract the big bucks, but as it is a diverse sector, we depend on those that is of great networking value, attracts the biggest crowds, has the greatest social appeal; we therefore should combine these for a successful model.

As the organizations meet in the upcoming months, a Think Tank must be a priority to look at a strategic plan for the next five to ten years for sport. My only request, is leave the politicians out of the mix. Following the strategic plan completion, we then put the cards on the table; show them the figures and negotiate waivers, support and legislation which will help to grow the industry.

Let’s Stay in the Game!

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 Advertising, Athletes, Sport

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.

sports-marketing-10-728

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.

Posted in Athletes, Coaching, Sport, Uncategorized

Coaching in 2016 and beyond

May 29 – Elite athletes should have access to the best technical expertise available.  

“Coaching is the universal language of change and learning.”

Coaching1

One of the missions of any sporting organisation must be to prepare its coaches to be the best. And while it is doing that ensure that the sport also has access to its best athletes. That relationship, if well organised is the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship for the specific sport to maximise its economic activity.

The history of coaching does not meet the traditional skill set where the roles of purpose, knowledge base, organisation and ethics are clearly outlined; however, over the last two decades there has been an increase in who we classify as “elite coaches” – those who are considered as being the best; transforms the best and gets the best out of any category of athlete.

Sport more than ever now plays a significant role in income generation and a well-coached   fully focused winning team provide entertainment to spectators, communities, sponsors, athletes, coaches and administrators.

Coaching has therefore moved from the largely volunteer role it had been to the more sophisticated and competitive profession where institutions and organisations go after the “best” coaches for a multiplicity of reasons.

Coaching2

The National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL) and the English Premier League (EPL) are three organisations which move around coaches based on a projected number of wins within a season or a contract term. These organisations essentially work with the saying “you are as good as your last win.”

I reflect on the roles of Don Nelson and Phil Jackson two NBA coaches were both successful as players and coaches. Both have philosophies they have used to their advantage. Nelson masterminded the concept of a power forward, while Jackson perfected the triangle offense; but also his use of Zen techniques to assemble some of USA’s best basketballers while getting them to win. I look at football in the EPL and Alex Ferguson’s record speaks for itself.

Today, an elite coach is not who is simply technically strong, but instead one who designs and uses philosophies to achieve the ultimate gain of converting his/her team to win over a sustained period.

The training of coaches is available at several levels

  • Teacher-training institutions
  • Sport Colleges and Universities
  • Olympic Federations through the IOC’s programmes
    • Other sporting Federations have accredited levels of courses which are applicable for its different categories of athletes
  • Other supplementary short courses are available on several platforms

Standards have been and continue to be set and more and more sporting franchises and organisations go after the most qualified. The coaching situation has evolved.

The profession, coaching, has to first of all look at reinforcing education, deployment of those resources while regulating rules to engage the wide variety of skills on offer, but the ultimate is to get a winning formula of winning team and coach.

Coaching along age-group teams moves from getting players/athletes to enjoy their game (children) and to compete fiercely for titles and in recent years attract a substantial salary package. Sport also influences social and cultural boundaries and the value of those factors, while immeasurable, have an important place in the sporting model of any organisation.

The European Coaching Council in 2007 proposed a paper which suggested that coaching roles and qualifications be separated, but cited the need to map what is considered competencies for specific coaching roles. The coaching role is defined whether you are one of the following:

  • Apprentice coach
  • Coach
  • Senior Coach
  • Master Coach

Some regions including USA, Europe, Australia have established professional associations for coaching ensuring the profession is fiercely protected and where only members of the profession can practice. Some sporting federations have a similar model where coaches have to achieve a certain level of qualification and accreditation to coach at a particular level.

In the coaching environment these days there is a variety of qualifications, accreditation and opportunities for coaches at every level to gain the requisite training and exposure to make it to the top. These days you are either a pre-coach, volunteer coach or a professional coach. Coaching like so many other professions, have become competitive and attracts good pay packages. It is therefore important that organisations prepare its technical teams to get the best out of its athletes/players.