Thursday, June 26, 2008
Sport Tourism Events and Branding
Carole Beckford, Contributor
Lights! Camera! Action!
June 27 - 29
"You would not want to miss this."
Is it a new movie? Is it the launch of a new drink? Is it Reggae Sumfest? Is it Portland Jerk Festival? No! It is the national track and field championship, June 27 to 29.
This event will be used to select the Jamaican track and field contingent for the 29th Summer Olympic Games for Beijing, China, August 8-24. This year in particular is shaping up to be one of the most, if not the most, exciting trials in a very long time.
Well, thanks to the usual top-class performances from our athletes since January, we can certainly look forward to close and nail-biting finishes in a number of events. I know you are thinking that the 100 metres for men is the stellar event, and maybe it is, but there are the 100 and 200 metres for women and the 400 metres for women which will be closely competed.
be a part of history
Wherever you are, plan to be a part of history and attend the meet for three days of 'world beaters on track'.
So the question here then is, do these major events have a brand image? Sure they do. Where else in the world can you find three or more athletes who are in the top ten in the world for 100, 200 metres (men and women) and 100 metres hurdles (women)? Nowhere else - except in Jamaica. And we should brand it accordingly. 'World beaters compete for spot on Olympic team' - a possible theme for the trials.
We have to look at it from the spectators' perspectives at all times and what the expectations are likely to be and there are three questions we should try to answer:
1. What are the attributes of the event?
2. What are the benefits of the event?
3. What are the attitudes toward the event?
A lot of these questions can be answered by the media exposure, word of mouth (that is still the best tool for promotion these days); and from all the other experiences of great track meets we have hosted in Jamaica.
The Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association and its officials have to take credit for the fact that they have been hosts to well-run events for a long time and the national trials 2008 will be no different. So let's get this show on the road.
I have deliberately stayed away from calling names of these athletes and I know the sport columnists/writers will do enough of that. Needless to say, Jamaica has a plethora of athletes who can perform creditably in a number of events and they should be encouraged to 'keep on track'.
PS: Whether we get insane (Usain) or we go faster (Asafa), June 27-29 will be as good a time as ever to be in Jamaica. Book your tickets early! And remember, we have some of the finest restaurants in Kingston.
published: Hospitality Jamaica, Wednesday, June 25, 2008