Friday, May 8, 2009
Use technology to promote sport
Jamaica's innovativeness will come into question over the next three to five years as we battle harsh economic times to continue to promote the island as a sport tourism destination.
So it is well known that we have the product, athlete and some reasonably cared facilities. We need to package them for two reasons:
1. To attract visitors to the island for the period of the events.
2. To have wide viewership around the region and the world.
I, therefore, call on the local producers, members of the film production community to merge their resources to create made-for-television events to distribute to the world community. Use the Internet as a way to distribute the product in a way that can also attract earnings.
The Internet has become a most valuable tool for distribution of content, why not sports?
Stream our events and ask consumers to pay. We have some events which have become prime content and our diaspora community which is hungry to view these events will pay and even advertise to provide additional income.
So, for 2010, let's look at Gibson Relays, Manning and daCosta Cup finals, senior netball finals, Boys and Girls' Championships are just some of the events we could stream. The alumni groups across the US and UK, I am sure, would be interested in these products. They must be marketed and promoted in an effective way to yield the best results.
There are opportunities at international trade fairs which the island can capitalise on by attending. A senior film official says, "While it is important to attend these events, we should look for agents who handle distribution of sports products in the regions being targeted as primary markets. The official noted that agents have specific catalogues they promote and distribute and the best way is to court those agents."
There are sport networks which may be open to negotiation to air some of these programmes, so we should seek that opportunity too. While we seek to promote in international markets, there is room for more local consumption. It is also a way of preserving our history so the next generation is up to speed.
Should Jamaica go after major sport events?
Jamaica was the featured country of the past Olympics and our athletes excelled beyond thought and expectations and there was no advertisement from the JTB saying, "Come to Jamaica ..." If it were not for Puma sponsoring Usain Bolt, Jamaica would have had no media presence.
Your ideas are excellent and I hope 'the powers that be' hear you and start implementing some internal changes in Jamaica to accommodate such a bold idea.
Sam from California
It has always been said that during the winter months the people who reside in the cold temperature want somewhere to train. Has anyone in Jamaica ever really explored the possibility of earning from anything like that?
I think your idea is excellent and just hope some of the people who run our sports programmes will get with the programme.