Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Student-athletes transfer dilemma in high schools

As the debate rages on regarding the transfer of athletes in the high schools system for the sake of playing for a coach/team/school there are a number of issues which must be addressed. 1. The transfer story is old - dating back to at least four decades 2. It is not exclusive to Jamaica 3. Parents are as much a part of the problem as is the recruiters 4. The regulatory/monitoring bodies MUST be strengthened to ensure the goals of the education industry are met The dynamics of education are changing, strange but true...no longer are children being 'forced' to pursue the traditional career paths, but instead go after lucrative career areas, much of which include study in the non-traditional areas, some of which are frowned upon. While the split in where the choices should go, continue, the system is moving ahead and as a result policy leaders should be aware of what these changes are and create an environment for as much of us to exist as possible. I will cite examples from the states of Georgia, Florida and California where a lot of these problems exist. They have the equivalent of what is in Jamaica - the Inter Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) and they are in charge of monitoring what happens in the schools. They monitor * students requests for transfer * schools from where the transfer is being sought * schools to which the transfer is required * grades of the students * general school records which may reveal behaviour * ability of parents to afford where applicable, or accommodate, sometimes in the case of relocation I am of the firm belief that parents have a responsibility to the children and should not be forced to move their children from school to school while accepting gifts. In deciding to move a child, careful consideration should be given whether the move is an advantage to the child in the pursuit of higher education. By the way, higher education in this instance can also relate to going after dreams of being an athlete, famous dancer, soulful singer etc. If the school the child wishes to go to offers the best environment for the student to learn, then move. The move is to be done within the rules of the system. The state of Georgia got 6,000 such requests in the 2010 - 2011 season and 76 per cent of that list was granted. The regulatory team keeps watch. In Florida, the Florida High School Athletics Association is the body which monitors the requests. So too is the Southern Commission in California. I say we boost the human resources of ISSA to help them with the work they have already started to ensure that the moves are above board and there is very little, if any, inappropriate behaviour by schools and/or coaches. Having identified that there is an issue, I say we move to resolve the issue soon and let's look at the 2013 to 2014 season how we can enforce the rules established by ISSA. The history of dialogue and setting up of teams in Jamaica (Task Forces) to look at issues doesn't have resolutions coming too quickly, but if we can 'stamp out' some of the known areas of activity where the transfers are blatant, then we would have been a few steps ahead. Parents have a right to offer their children the best option, but not for a fridge, stove, car or money.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Long term Operator for Hotel Braco Expansion Being Sought

Bid process entering final stage KINGSTON, November 21 The National Insurance Fund, owners of the Hotel Braco in Trelawny, Jamaica has set December 14th as the deadline for final bids from experienced hotel brands to be chosen to manage the famed hotel as of June next year . Currently, the bid managers Kronos Consultants, who are managing the process on behalf of the NIF, continue to accept Letters of Interest to prequalify candidates.”Based on the number of enquiries we have had we will continue to accept Letters of Interest with the understanding that the deadline for final bids remains at December 14th” said Michael McMorris, CEO of Kronos. “Presently , already approved bidders have more than three weeks to the final bid deadline but if a company feels it can do the necessary due diligence in two weeks, sends in their LoI next week and qualifies, then we will acknowledge them as Approved Bidders too and give them access to the final bid information. No one however will get more time for the final bid submission, that date is fixed at December 14th” added the Development Consultant. The Request for Interest document is now available upon request via email to the exclusive bid managers, KRONOS Development Consultants at (bracohotel@kronosid.com) or the National Insurance Fund. The elegant Property which currently has 226 rooms is set to double that number on the existing 84-acre property located in Braco, Trelawny, Jamaica over the next few years . According to McMorris, “Operators who wish to be considered for the leasing /management of the existing hotel can greatly strengthen their bid by offering to participate in the Development.” He added – “that will be one of the key areas of evaluation when considering the final bids after the December 14, 2012 deadline.” The winning Operator will be selected by the NIF on or before January 30th 2013. About The NIF The National Insurance Fund (NIF) is established under the National Insurance Act of Jamaica and resides within the Ministry of Labour & Social Security. The NIF currently manages J$71 billion (US$779 million) in real estate, fixed income and equity assets. About KRONOS KRONOS Consultants - Jamaica's premier Development Consultants are exclusive advisors to the NIF for the execution of the Operator Selection Process and have been involved in the development of new ventures and the repositioning of existing properties since 2005. KRONOS has provided a turnkey selection process solution utilizing its Virtual Data Room for the secure and confidential exchanging of information with candidates.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


SPANISH TOWN, November 20 After three decades of contributing to the growth and development of Physical Education and Sport in Jamaica, the GC Foster College continues to prepare candidates to fulfil the growing demands of the sport industry. Continuing its core function to train PE teachers, the College has also been engaged in complementing and supplementing new and relevant skills sets through its offer of related courses. The 2012 version of the Graduation exercise scheduled for Sunday, November 25 will feature the success of some of those related courses and will see the successful candidates for the newly installed two-year coaching, sports instruction and sports massage therapy programmes. A total of 31 will collect certificates and diplomas for successfully completing their courses. Additionally, 88 persons will collect the bachelor’s degree in physical education and 76 persons the diploma in teacher education. The College recently celebrated five of its massage therapy programme graduates who were part of the Jamaican team to the London 2012 Olympic Games. The institution which was a gift from Cuba has been in existence since 1980 will also honour four stalwarts who were integral to the establishment of the College. They are the former Prime Minister, Michael Manley, Hugh Small, former Minister of Education, Youth and Sport; Derrick Heaven former Member of Parliament; and Cedric McCulloch former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport. According to Principal Edward Shakes “the College represents an enduring legacy of Michael Manley’s foresight and recognition of the importance of sport to national development, and with sport emerging as a great business opportunity, the institution is poised to prepare its students for the market.” Minister of Education, Deacon Ronald Thwaites will deliver the keynote presentation and will charge the new professionals to be excellent in their offer of service to Jamaica and the wider global market. Principal Edward Shakes is reiterating that he expects the graduates to continue to uphold the good reputation of the institution as they strive for personal growth while contributing to nation building. The College has a capacity for over 600 students and they are currently participating in courses for Certificates, Diploma, and Bachelor's Degree programmes primarily in Teacher Education and Coaching, but also in related programmes geared towards an ever-growing sport industry.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


By nature there is expected conflict in sport as it relates to competition on or off the field/track. In this case there is a bid for leadership and what inevitably happens in a run up to an election, contenders present a best case scenario at the expense of their opponents. What has happened in the JAAA is unfortunate, but it is real. The previous years may have and did have conflict, however the conflict was managed and the public was not privy to some of the minor details which existed. Fast forward to 2012, there is a three pronged-bid for leadership of the most powerful sporting body in Jamaica and so far it is showing some not so pleasant sides. Tempers will flare, lies will be told, unkind things will be said and so many other issues will be brought to the fore, but at the end of the day, track and field must have the best option to lead the sport forward for a new agenda. It may be important to some stakeholders to dissect the personalities and issues at hand and at some point when the dust settles, those issues must be resolved. An election exercise is due on November 29 and a new team will be elected to lead and manage track and field at least for four years so the focus should and must change. The recommendation for a resolution should be of paramount interest at this juncture and we can think of some ideals to achieve * Fairness * Professionalism * Confidence - knowing a solution is close * Putting the sport first This issue can be best served as a teaching moment and while we acknowledge the public display of JAAA's inside activity is bad for the image of the sport. The resolution is going to be a positive end to this game. I am almost tempted to use of the analogy of 'break up to make up'. I suggested a mediator for the process and there are some neutral individuals I could recommend. Milton or Christopher Samuda - both attorneys, both have experience in mediation in sport too. The Samudas would then select the best team to carry out this process. The next few years are even more critical for track and field and the first step is to get the team on board to focus on the growth and development of track and field and create the best environment for athletes. Track and field's legacy will not be destroyed as long as the big picture remains the goal.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

JAAA Presidential Candidates - Issues to debate

This is a call for the contending presidential candidates of the JAAA and their teams to put forward their plans to their delegates and the wider public. The track and field management in Jamaica must be transformed to meet the growing demands of the global society. The fact that there are three candidates suggests there is an interest in the development, but we would not want isolation of anyone. The debate is expected to highlight a few points 1. The mission and vision of the new team 2. The role track and field will continue to play in Jamaica's sport industry 3. As one of the most recognizable track and field brands in the world, how will it influence change on the global scale 4. What strategies will be employed for effective management? This is the first time I think we have three specific teams and it says something, but we should engage all. Also we should move away from isolating folks who genuinely want to help and the "slate' voting has been an issue in our politics - so I am hoping for a full engagement The quality of the folks running is of international repute and there should be a way to have them all on board regardless of who wins. The format I think should be • Presidential candidates debate • Audience be the other team members Moderators could come from independent private sector officials who can maintain as much neutral positions as possible. Additionally the new team should set up the following commissions • Medical • Press and Media • Marketing • Officials • Technical/Coaching • Finance • Legal • Records and Statistics • Overseas Liaisons - Diaspora • Education/Academic Development Whichever team wins the above-mentioned commissions should be set up for effective management.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


...as Jamaica heads to Brazil in 2014 The most watched sport in the world is football reporting some 3.5 billion fans across the world with a heavy concentration of those fans in Europe, Asia and Africa. The International Football Federation (FIFA) is reportedly valued at $1 billion with equity of $1.061 million. At the last World Cup in 2010, television rights were valued at $650 million. Football players are some of the highest paid, most valuable brands and have the biggest following on Social Media. They are also the most controversial, but at the end of the day, they are what make football one of the greatest sports in the world. Jamaica is now at a turning point with the development and enhancement of its own fledging sporting industry with track and field leading the way, in terms of popularity and impact. Football on the other hand with its splintered reach and impact has great value, but the difficulty is, there is no evidence of what the football brand is really worth. We know there are over 50 players in professional leagues all over the world, but the reporting of the impact the players are having in those international communities are not well known, neither is the overall financial value of their talents. As we progress towards Brazil 2014 with the hope that Jamaica will qualify for its second World Cup in 14 years; the country has to rally its troops to support the cause for a number of reasons. Qualification for the 2014 World Cup will attract a tremendous amount of sponsorship but the football administration will have some strategic work to undertake to make this bid more successful than in 1998. The current squad needs players who are more marketable – the team needs a star. The very good teams all around the world all stars. Liverpool has Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz and emerging is Raheem Sterling (I am a Liverpool fan); Manchester United has Wayne Rooney; on the country side, Cristiano Ronaldo is the star for Portugal while Lionel Messi is the star for Argentina and I could go on. Love them or not, they are the stars and the game is played based on their presence. Jamaica needs a star. I won’t try to choose one here, but in time the team needs one and fast. The players need stronger marketability…with the star appeal the team will be looked at more closely for market opportunities for endorsements, sponsorship, brand association and media presence. With those efforts the Jamaica Football Federation can then arrange more international friendlies at “The Office” where Jamaicans will have an opportunity to see their stars and promote the sport of football by the best public relations tool – ‘word of mouth’. The venues around the island need refurbishing giving greater access to young players who have football as part of their dream; while providing a better environment for inter-school competitions and a better player pool for transition in the national programme. So by the time we hit 2018, Jamaica’s team would have been solidly prepared for entry into the World Cup. 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. The current coach, Theodore Whitmore should be made to participate in leadership, management, communications workshops while capturing technical expertise from watching tapes and using data to select the best team Jamaica is to put on the field. The window of opportunity is not as wide open as it was then and with international competition closer to each other’s doorsteps, what is required is the competitive edge to get to Brazil in 2014, just two years before the Olympics. Football has to set the pace and return to its glory days. An important aspect of preparation is prevention and care methodology for the team and its staff…medical, psychological and financial. These areas will prevent any kind of distraction which can only hurt the overall journey of the team. The ball is now in the hands of Captain Burrell and his squad to lead, manage and deliver the efforts of the football team into Brazil 2014. Carole Beckford © October 2012

Jamaican Hume Johnson making academic waves

Most recently The University of Waikato in New Zealand appointed Dr. Hume Johnson for a third year in a row, Honorary Status as an Associate in The Political Science and Public Policy Programme. This means that the University still sees her as member of the community. She will continue to do good will on its behalf. That sucess has been translated to her being a part of the marketing for the Faculty of Arts and Social Science and in other ways, she continues to spread goodwill. She also, most recently also wrote a recommendation for her former Doctoral Supervsior in the Politics Department, Dr Priya Kurian, for a University wide Award for which she is nominated. Here is the profile of Dr Hume Johnson that is to be used as part of the marketing campaign of the Faculty of Arts and Social Science at the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. She currently holds a Doctor of Philosophy, Political Science and Public Policy and is an Assistant Professor, Media and Communications and Public Relations at the Roger Williams University, Rhode Island, USA. Hume is now an assistant professor of media communications and public relations at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, United States. She is also a Political Analyst with the Jamaican media and author of the book ‘Challenges to Civil Society: Popular Protest and Governance in Jamaica’. She spends much of her day doing research, preparing and researching her lectures, grading and giving feedback on students work, and attending meetings with students and faculty. Hume also spends a lot of time working on her second book which will address communication and media relations in crisis, writing papers and book chapters, and keeping up to date on what is happening in the area of civil society and governance in Jamaica. She also operates a blog entitled ‘Talking Politics’, and is regularly tweeting to influence national conversations in Jamaica. She is also working on a civics book, which she hopes will be added to the Jamaican school curriculum, especially given the recent re-introduction of the teaching of civics in schools in Jamaica. The book explores what it means to be a citizen of Jamaica. Another goal of Dr Johnson is to help to advance Brand Jamaica. For Hume, Jamaica’s brand is much more music and sport, but anchors also on the policies of the Government of Jamaica and the behaviour of Jamaican citizens. She hopes to be an ambassador with a focus on public and cultural diplomacy. Dr. Johnson attended the Ferncourt High School in Claremont, St. Ann.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Carole Beckford and Dr. Hume Johnson to discuss prospects for Economic and Social Transformation Through Sport (Kingston, October 16) – Sports management expert and publicist for track icon, Usain Bolt, Carole Beckford and Political Analyst, and Public Relations professor at Roger Williams University, United States, Dr. Hume Johnson, will discuss prospects for Jamaica’s sport brand at an international conference scheduled for November 7 – 9, 2012 in Salzburg, Austria. The conference, entitled ‘Sports: Probing the Boundaries’, is being organised by the UK based Research and Publishing group, Inter -Disciplinary.net. With 2012 seeing both the Olympic Games in being held in London/ the United Kingdom, and the European Football Championships in Poland and the Ukraine, the organisation believes examining the ways that sports influence and intersect with the many layers of modern life is a compelling subject. Carole Beckford and Dr. Hume Johnson, who will join a number of sports professionals and academics from around the world at the conference, will make two separate presentations around the theme ‘Branding Jamaica Through Sport’. Beckford will discuss the economic and business aspects of sports in Jamaica, and show how a developing country as tiny as Jamaica can create a competitive sport economy that can create economic activity, jobs and wealth, using the strength of its sports brand. Beckford, who is part of Bolt’s management team, has specific portfolio responsibility for communications. Beckford has suggested that “Usain Bolt, one of the most popular sports stars in the island has opened up a whole new marketability for Jamaica along with the exploits of the Reggae Boys, Sunshine Girls and the one off examples which continue to stun the world, including recently crowned, World Taekwondo Champion, Kenneth Edwards. Jamaica is yet to fully capitalise and to translate that powerful brand into economic gains for the developing economy.” She will also Chair the panel “Pedagogies and Sports Careers”, which will see presenters discuss and debate the value of sports in the education curriculum. For her part, Dr. Hume Johnson will discuss the role sport has played in building Jamaica’s global and national identity, and secured for the nation pride of place in the world. Within the context of Jamaica’s social and economic troubles, Dr. Johnson will explore whether sport can help to bolster and advance Jamaica’s brand image and standing on the world stage, as well as stir well-needed national unity, build social capital and lead to social transformation at home. The outspoken political commentator says “it is important to explore whether sport can be the great ‘leveler’ and ‘stabiliser’ in a society with social problems.” This is not the first time Carole Beckford and Dr. Hume Johnson have collaborated to discuss on Jamaica’s Sport Brand. The pair recently contributed to a Jamaica 50 Anthology in which they discussed the role of sports in advancing Jamaica’s international brand image over the past 50 years.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

GC Foster honours home-trained masseurs

SPANISH TOWN, October 9 Masseurs are not the most recognised members of a sporting delegation, but the GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport honoured five of its outstanding masseurs on October 9 in a brief ceremony. The five masseurs were part of the London 2012 Summer Olympic team. The gentlemen graduated from the Sports Massage programme which has been offered at the College from as far back as 2004. Everald Edwards, Shawn Kettle, Gavin James, Collin Turner and Patrick Watson were on hand to accept their awards. Although part of the overall squad, Edwards is the masseur for double world and Olympic champion, Usain Bolt; while Kettle is the significant figure behind the second fastest man in the world Yohan Blake. The other honorees were Collin Turner the most recent graduate from the massage program offered at the college, Gavin James masseur at the Racers Track Club and Patrick Watson one of the key persons behind the successes of former 100 meter record holder Asafa Powell. General Secretary from the JAAA, Garth Gayle applauded the gentlemen for their contribution to the sport of track and field, but was charging that he wants to see more females involved. The sports massage programme was first offered as a short programme at the certificate level back in 2004 but has been a formal diploma programme for the last two years. Honoree Patrick Watson is one of the first set of massage therapists to be trained at the college. The college has expanded the massage therapy programme and now offers along with the diploma part-time programme, short courses as well as a level II (intermediate) course.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Caribbean brand - affected by diversity

The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) will be hosting a State of the Caribbean Tourism conference in St. Kitts this October 9 - 10. The aim of that conference is to look at a few areas, but primarily how to promote the Caribbean as a destination. Some of the specific thoughts being pushed are: * What are the similarities within the Caribbean Brand * What are the differences? * How will the team of policy makers, marketers, sales people come up with a programme specific to the region of any value to the world tourist? Those questions suggest one thing, the Caribbean's tourism product is diverse and may not be able to be packaged enough to sell as one product. Each destination within the region has its own look, feel, taste and touch and while the people may have lots of similarities, the messages are different. That may be ideal within one location, but what distinguishes the Caribbean as an outstanding Brand. The Caribbean is easy to get to from anywhere in the world, but within the region it is becoming more and more difficult to get to each island. So air seats are an issue. With the disappearance of Air Jamaica; reduced flights on LIAT the inter island travel has not been the most convenient. We should consider 'building bridges'. (Smile) What then is the common thread for the Caribbean? How will we solve the age old problem of attracting more visitors to the region? Reports have surfaced recently where tourism arrival figures are down in some islands; while some are experiencing small margins of growth, however, with an international recession; more first world countries are promoting within; the Caribbean will have to find more creative ways to promote and attract more visitors to the region. We anticipate a summary of the new and refurbished ideas as we hit 2013 and beyond.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


This past week, I had an interesting encounter with email addresses as I am finalising plans for an event. Back in the day before emails were popular, we chose names which were closely associated with the things we did. For example, in 1995, one of my emails was volleyballer@...I was in the peak or somewhere close of my volleyball career, being on scholarship and all and I wanted to be known as that...a volleyballer. However as life changed I realised that email addresses almost dictated what people were to expect from you. I then used my name which has served me well to date, as there is no issue with who people are communicating with, me. As a tertiary education lecturer for the last ten years, I have come across some interesting names (no offense to some of my close friends)...here are a few redhotchineyluva, sassysandra, hotandtemptingcarla, and I could go on. Now imagine applying for a job and you send the email from foreveryoursjames - now what would the potential employer think? Well the most interesting situation happened this past week, people who were once in a position and are now out of that position are using the titles as the email address...like you won't be CEO for ever, or driver, or prince. And of course for sensitive purposes, I won't reveal who...but you can read between the lines. All I am saying, you are your name, and so is your email address, so unless you have an alter ego and you really want to be diiferent, except in that case, use your name. I know some of us have the same names, but go alpha numeric if you must cb10@....com - that works too. I hope you PR people out there, who help to guide these people, let them know that real names work, even for an email address, it makes for quick recognition. If you are guilty, create a new email address and import your contacts... More time :-)

Friday, August 24, 2012


Sport is something we have grown to love more and more and after 64 years of doing well and even great at the international level, Jamaica's efforts to build its sporting industry will take some work from all its people inside and out of the country. Here are some questions that we should try to answer as we build on this fast-growing sector * What is the industry worth? * What is the annual spend on Sport Advertising? * What is the revenue of each sporting federation a) football b) basketball c) netball d) track and field e) volleyball f) swimming g) horseracing h) cricket i) golf to name a few Health and gym facilities are also part of the sporting industry as it employs a significant number of persons. Sports and the economy can be based on the participation of the variety of paid personnel in the industry to include - coaches and other technical staff - teaching - professional athletes - referees, umpires and other officials - amusement, gambling and recreation - sporting goods and retail (manufacturing) The academic institutions should look further into what programmes are already in place and create more to support the base of the programme; while focusing on looking at the "Sports Industry Experience" - acknowledge the facts and look at the challenges. It may even require the government to rationalise the role of its sports agencies to meet the growing demand for the industry to look at industry standards and make recommendations for further development. The ultimate for Jamaica, as we have come to know, is preparation and performance, but there is so much more we can explore. Let's do this!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Lots of stories will come out of London, but they are not going to ever capture the real impact of what Jamaica had to offer at these Games. While Jamaicans at home and abroad thought track and field was it, well, it was, but Alia Atkinson's swimming stories were profound. Samantha Albert's exploits in Equestrian were well published and Kenneth Edwards attempt on defeating the World Champion in karate was excitingly hilarious. A news item mentioned that if the chinese world championship had won in the semis, Edwards could have gotten back in the race (lol) but it wasn't to be. He had the crowds chanting "Jamaica, Jamaica" - that is a real live feedback on Brand JAMAICA. Anyway, the crowd. At the Olympic Park there were a few other venues outside of track and field, the aqautic centre is at the Eastern side of the main stadium and a massive food court along with some 'sightly' attractions. So imagine walking in a crowd of up to 100,000 twice a day for 10 days at least. The cops on foot and horses are there for your support; while the volunteers are there too with oversized hands pointing patrons in the right direction. They were pleasant. They were courteous. They recognised us each time we passed. And the other countries too. In my own biased way I think they recognised Jamaica more. They asked us for our pins, flags, shirts or any thing Jamaican we had. Some of us obliged. None of us wanted to let go of the paraphanelia we took with us as it was our stamp while in London. The crowd in and out of the park was heavy all the time. We stopped and took pictures. We were photographed. It was an amazing experience. Once track and field started though, things literally heated up...the ticket checkers asked "So what is Jamaica going to do today?" We were mesmerized with the attention we got. The billboards of one Usain Bolt (Visa approved) were everywhere around the Park. And yes, Visa in an Olympic sponsor. He was all the entrances possible. Stratford was BOLT-like in every way. The 80,000 capacity stadium was thrilled with exciting performances each day, but on August 5 when BOLT won the 100 metres, the decibel level of the stadium hit high pitch. It was LOUD after that....for the record, the stadium will be scaled down to seat 25,000 after the Games to facilitate a possible West Ham take over (time will tell). Enough Jamaicans were in the packed stadium and so we had our anthem play four times, by the third time, some of that crowd was singing a few of those words...oh what pride. Now it is time to get out at the end of the day and the crowd again....all 80,000 of us filling out at the same time into Stratford....Sadiki and I got tricked into walking to West Ham one night by Franno (the Dread) and 40 minutes later I felt ready for the Reggae Marathon - I wish! otherwise we ventured through the well mannered crowd into Westfield Mall most times to charge the phone, IPad, top the credit (yes, strange but true) or grab a bite. We were five stops from the Mall on the tube, so getting home was easy and we lived 10 minutes walk or less from the station. The crowd is still in my head....and hearing Jamaica on the bull horns, from the volunteers and from other patrons, is something I will not forget anytime soon. JAMAICA - a ya so nice :-)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Jamaica's home-based training working for T&F

The success of Jamaica's track and field programme over the last two Olympic Games can almost be credited to the decision of MVP Track Club and in recent times Racers Track Club's decision to keep its athletes here in Jamaica for training. The business model speaks to * Base in Jamaica * Training and Preparation in Jamaica * Enrollment in collegiate academic programmes * Collaboration with local gymnasiums * Attraction of local/regional sponsors * Participation in local meets * Financial Planning with Jamaican financial institutions * Local Management Teams Technical officials continue to build capacity by attending and even conducting workshops to grow and develop others while improving on their own skills. I am of the firm belief, the inclusion of the collegiate system's input has played a significant role in the country's development in sport and that continues 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil should bear more fruit. I also hope that the other sporting disciplines will follow...some of which are already putting plans in motion. The competition has their tertiary level programmes in tact and provides the basis for the mature athlete to flourish. We must encourage this programme and invest human, financial and physical resources to achieve the success it does deserve. Would be interested to do the case study of * Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce * Hansle Parchment * Jason Young ...just to name a few. All of whom have used the Collegiate academic and sport systems to their benefit. Therefore to say we are not capitalising on our strengths, is real rubbish. We have to trust ourselves to manage ourselves FIRST as you know Jamaica has an affinity to trust more from outside. The sport industry requires building of trust initially then the rest will flow as those technical capabilities are plenty. I ask the private sector to support the efforts of the tertiary level programmes and invest accordingly. It is the answer to Sport Development in Jamaica - grow from within. We will attract the business thereafter.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Caribbean - an OASIS for Sport Development

What the Caribbean islands have done at this Summer Olympic Games has been unprecedented and it is not done. While some of the islands have not been up to par, others have stepped in and done their part. The Caribbean presence has been superbly strong. The headlines in the papers, images and videos have not gone one day with some Caribbean influence. Take a look at the 400 metres for men and you will understand what I am talking about. Kirani and his Caribbean teenage sensations have just knocked over the rest of the world. In that finals of eight...five men were from the Caribbean and Jamaica had no presence there. However the Caribbean power is still STRONG. The Caribbean has an issue with insularity and some level of small island behvaiour that we can do without, however with agencies like CEDA, CARICOM (Yes I said it) and JAMPRO etc....we can make this happen. Drop the politics! We have tons of Caribbean people who are great influencers we can use to get this train running. We have some things to get to * World Cup Football 2014 * Summer Olympics 2016 * World Championships 2015 and 2017 ...so many other major sporting events. In the meantime, let us tell our stories in our way - INVEST in the Caribbean. Make our models work. * Run effectiev academies * Maintain our facilities * Send our children to school * Focus on our jouney and be mindful of those around us * Get to meetings on time * Maintain and surpass international standards * Conduct grooming courses * Manage our own affairs ...etc etc etc I could go on, but I won't....let us MOVE and become the WORLD Power we obviously are Like · · Unfollow Post · Share · Delete

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tales of London - Day One

With just under two days before Jamaica's track and field team begin its pursuit of greatness, the solid attention Alia Atkinson and Samantha Albert have given - is just a sign of what is to come. London is all JAMAICA. Well, certainly everywhere I have been so far. In a little town on the East Side almost as quaint and cool as Moneague, I found a magazine - Whats on festival guide - and on the cover is one Usain Bolt. Well Sally Jones painted the usual picture and all of the world waits - hmmmm Anyway, so far the city has been purring with excitement - from WiFi being free underground - courtesy of Virgin Media, to Get Ahead of the Games which told you what were the 'hot spots' for the Games; Rosetta Stone asking for Unity in Sport to the Mayor, Transport Department, National Rail and the Highway Agency with ads about how to and when to - London is the place to be. There is a sign which says "one million people will pass through this place every day" I was part of the million today and WOW! Stratford is where the Olympic Park is adjoining the massive Westfield Mall and the courteous folks who give you directions and seem ready for the millions more to come by August 12. Of course one of the million I saw today was someone who follows me on Twitter and he walks up to me by the entrance of the Westfield Mall and greets me with joy....he is from Australia - can you believe? Anyway we took pictures and did the chat up thing and we left...picture attached Amidst the one million we are recognised by lots of people and it's only day one since we got in. Unlike Daegu I have not encountered any taxi men yet....but I am sure I will have Tales of the Tube.... More to come Talk again soon

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jamaican Football Programme - What are the needs?

I had the distinguished opportunity to be the Guest Speaker at the Kingston and St. Andrew Football Association Senior Award ceremony this evening (Thursday, July 26) and I spoke to a number of reasons why Jamaica should do more to get the best out of the most watched sport in the world - football. We acknowledged that track and field has highlighted Jamaica's image in a positive way; but picture for a moment a top performing national football team, a well oiled track and field programme along with excellent performances in netball, basketball, volleyball and swimming along with other sports. If sport is one of the leading industries in the world and Jamaica is blessed with the enormous talent and techincal personnel it has, then it is time to make some "good" money. I raised four major factors which would contribute to a great football player - talent - marketability - eloquence - community profile Sport is largely dirven by personalities and so once the talent is established then the rest of the skills set should be nurtured and brought to the fore as the package up for promotion and delivery. It's useless to even want to quantify the value of the Jamaican sporting industry without first engaging in a culture of - sportsmanship - support from the citizens - activism through volunteerism - social inclusion Football has those abilities as it is a mass sport in the Jamaican context. Outside of the CHAMPS, the odd cricket test; football draws the biggest crowds and covers the widest base across communities. I suggest we create an 'academic' template for the football talent of our country by academising the talent. What do I mean? Value the life skill/experience of a player...create an academy style training programme to offer basic education...train them in the finer things in life....play football. This could empower a significant community and take the football to a completely different level. So UWI, UTech, GCF join forces and make a plan for this. I cannot imagine how proud members of the inner city communities graduating from an academy (under the name of UWI, UTech, NCU or GCF) - that kind of empowerment is invaluable and would offer great experience for these young people. I know there is someone out there waiting to do this research to select out first set of University Community students and focus our attention on 'Building a Nation one young man/woman at a time". Of course my passion cannot resist to say "the time is now" and no matter what happens at this Olympics, Jamaica will be talked about at least for another year - best time to engage the world. If Britain can attract investment opportunities in Education, then so can we. Let's do the non-traditional way, let us think Outside the Box.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Translating Sport Brand into Business

Since it was announced that the Games of the XXX Olympiad would have been held in London, the excitement started to build, well certainly for Jamaica and as a result of that – plans for attending were in high(er) gear. What was now to be “The Greatest Show on earth” – was on the minds of most sporting fans across the globe and not to leave out the Caribbean folks. On April 19 when the 100 countdown began a London CNN report said “As the city marks 100 days to go until the opening ceremony on Wednesday, venues are on schedule and within budget, tickets are selling out as quickly as they become available and sponsorship revenue has exceeded expectation. It's a big day for us, 100 days to go," said Sebastian Coe, the head of the London organizing committee. "This is the moment when we really do start getting ready for celebrating and welcoming the world." What was more impacting for me was the focus on Jamaica. Since November 2011 there was a consistent flow of journalists in the island to find out “Why Jamaicans run so fast.” – Have they really? Some of the features were shown on NBC’s Rock Centre with Lester Holt; BBC with Leon Mann; ESPN, HBO and a host of other TV networks, but also the features in Sport Illustrated, L’Equipe, Vogue, Ebony, Essence, Economist, Financial Times, and a host of publications in Germany, China and Australia; not to mention the web pages; were just a few of the positive spin offs the country has had because of one element of its brand – SPORT. While we contemplate the team’s performance at the Games, let’s take a look at the positive attention the country has had consistently for the last year. The country battles with its social programmes of a crime troubled nation; the IMF sort of dictates how money is spent and the ugly head of political corruption remains a popular discussion. All this make it tricky to do ‘business in Jamaica’ – however Sport has attracted the most positive outlook of the island. The questions that comes to mind are Can Jamaica capitalize on the attention it has gotten through Sport Can the attention be monetized Can Sport serve as a real economic driver for the Economy Who will drive the initiative The core of the culture of Jamaica has to be secured to achieve its primary goal of economic wealth for its people. The role of education, marketing, technical development has to be placed in one major plan to access the best opportunities for Jamaica. This has to be done soon, as the opportunity withers with time. How soon can Jamaica get this right? I read with interest an excerpt of a presentation by Senator Kamina Johnson and a question which emerged was “Is Jamaica boxing in the wrong weight class?” If in fact Jamaica is, it may mean a new set of gloves, or it may have to resort to fighting in the class it really should be. After all is said and done, Jamaica has been the most talked about, written about nation in this Olympic Games and the best is yet to come. Let’s rally around the team, management and the Jamaican people and do what is possible…extraordinary. In the 50th year of Independence, as the nation heads to a century and beyond, it is time for CHANGE and positive ones too.

Friday, July 20, 2012


I am amazed at the relatively high level of people who only read newspapers. Here is why I am amazed, in a typical conversation, at least the ones I have, I make reference to something from a publication I may have read up to 35 years ago. So if you are over 30 and you have not read some of these books, go find them 1. Animal Farm - George Orwell 2. Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe 3. Politics of Change - Michael Manley 4. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell 5. Beyond Freedom and Dignity - B.F. Skinner These books address humanity, beliefs, norms, values, existence, survival and solutions. In the difficult world we live in reasoning and logic are two critical skills to have and some GREAT ideas can come from these publications. Read a book today :-)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Jamaican Sports Business Awards

Sports is vital to a country's development and Jamaica in its 50th year has its eyes focused on capturing the hearts and minds of the world at the Summer Olympic Games in 2012, the World Athletics Championships in 2013, the Word Cup Football in 2014 and the World Netball Championships in 2015. As the President for The Business of Sport, Jamaica, I would like to present some awards for the 2011/2012 period. The views expressed are simply my own and isn't anyway, influenced by any organisations or institutions I am a part of. Now here we go. 1. Lifetime Achievement - Lindy Delapenha - he turned 85 on May 20 and played multiple sport, but was the first guy of colour to play professional football in the UK 2. Executive of the Year - Andrew Price & Clyde Jureidini (Boys Town & Harbour View Football Clubs) 3. Sports Event of the Year - Boys and Girls Champs 4. Sports Media - KLAS Sport Radio 5. League of the Year - Contender Series (Boxing) 6. Sports Sponsor of the Year - Supreme Ventures Lotteries Limited 7. High School - Edwin Allen 8. TV Station - TVJ 9. Athletic Director of the Year - Dalton Myers (UWI) 10. Best use of Digital Media - Phase Three Production 11. Best Talent Representation - goes without saying (lol) - UBML 12. Event with Best Experiential Marketing - Business House Volleyball I think we could develop this and set up a peer award as we go beyond 50 years so we can record what happens in our sporting history. Your feedback is vital

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Business of Entertainment

As we explore the benefits of entertainment and sport to the Jamaican economy, it seems we have to re-define the business of entertainment and how it can be tailored to suit the needs of the industry while at the same time create economic opportunities for the major stakeholders. We have been lead to believe that entertainment is largely about talent, however as the time flies by we are seeing where packaging is becoming the major tool to the Brand of Entertainment. However, because Jamaica is a developing country, it may be easier to work through a process to get to the ultimate goal of having a vibrant entertainment industry. Let's take a look at some keys areas of focus (not in any particular order at this juncture). We have to set some clear guidelines and define the following: 1. Creative Process 2. Product 3. Financing plans 4. Distribution 5. Language 6. Technology - animation, 3-D 7. Education 8. Evolution of the Business 9. Value added - film, fashion,merchandising 10. Licensing 11. Content Monetization and Storage Jamaica's culture has been influenced by the success of Bob Marley which has set extremely high standards - one which has made Bob into an international icon and making him one of the most recognizable names and faces on the planet. We see the demand for pictures, clothing, records of Bob even 31 years after his death and his family, mostly of musicians and entertainers have carried on the legacy he worked hard at. The industry has evolved and changed since the 1980s and while there are far more opportunities, there are signs of convergences with the product meeting at common points. There is now little or no separation with a singing career and an acting career. Both are meeting closer and closer and what that means is PACKAGING...to suit the demands of the market. Jamaica's advantage is its history, heritage, culture, locations, allure, mystique, but should be carefully packaged along with the human element to showcase all those factors. Maybe, just maybe, we should invest in telling our stories and distribute them ourselves. So we need a script, we have the talent, showcase the music, film on our own locations and tell the world OUR stories. One thing I ask, begin the process in schools and work our way into developing this gold mine we are sitting on and let's get this RIGHT. What say you?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

JAMAICA - everytime

Kingston, May 10 If you were to award a prize for the most diverse country in the world that would have to go to Jamaica. One of the largest islands in the Caribbean, Jamaica is unmistakedly the place where it "all" happens. Let's give this a little twist though towards Sport. In the year of the London 2012 Summer Olympics, all eyes are on Jamaica and the rivalry expected with the USA. But what is more exciting is the rivalry on the island. The June 28 to July 1 national track and field championship to select its athletes is going to be an event 'Not to be missed'. All the sprints 100, 200, 400 metres for men and women will have exciting finishes and the 100 hurdles, 110 hurdles women and men respectively could see either returning or new champions emerging. But that is on the track....what else is happening in the island? The manufacturers, businesses, craft vendors, hotel owners, taxi operators and certainly the Jamaica Tourist Board & JAMPRO are up and running as they figure out thier next set of moves with less than 80 days to go before this spectacular show in London. I see streams of gold, green and black domnating the streets, I hear horns tooting for those victories, but I also see packed bars and restaurants and not to mention living rooms tuned in too see the Games from start to finish. TV sales may even increase just before the Games start. It is in our culture - we will live, eat, sleep and breathe Olympics... check out the schedule at www.london2012.com What will be more interesting though, is the debates that will rage and that is also a fantastic element of the Jamaican Brand - the effortless way in which the track fans and experts exchange converstaion rivalling many Parliaments across the world. What will this mean for Jamaica? More attention. Much more curiousity about 'Why we run so fast?' - but also a WIDE OPEN opportunity for us to make sport economically viable? Will you be a part of this? Let me know. Let's keep Jamaica's sport on track

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Email rules - we should all use

There are some misconceptions regarding the use of email and I thought I would just remind us 1. Make sure you have the correct email address 2. Use a signature at the end of your email with phone numbers and mailing address where applicable 3. The subject line should represent what the email is about (like a headline) - you can use up to 5 words e.g. Birthday party for JOHN 4. Use proper English, Spanish or whatever language you speak - twitter language with shortened versions of words have NO place in an email 5. Always re-read your emails to make sure you have the correct information and spelling. Not all email formats have a spell check 6. NEVER send an email when you are angry - NEVER 7. People get lots of emails in a day, be brief and concise in emails you send 8. If you are writing to a team at work, you can use emails in the "To" box, however there are folks you know who may not want their emails broadcast to the world, use the bcc box 9. When you are inviting people to an event use the bcc box 10. Some emails do not warrant a reply e.g a thought for the day 11. Use the forward function mostly when someone may have been left off an email list by error These are just a few, but I am sure there are more Feedback desired :)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sport Psychology - Understated in The Business of Sport

April 29 - KINGSTON, One of the understated, but important aspects of The Business of Sport is Maintaining the Competitive Edge – Sport Psychology. This year’s renewal of two-day conference will focus on that message in Session 2 on Day one of the May 3 – 4 event at the Jamaica Pegasus. The session will feature three international experts who have plied their trade extensively in the sporting arena. Dr. Jason Scott Hamilton who is Florida-based is the president and founder of Elite Sports Psychology (ESP) and is the dean of the Doral Campus of Strayer University. He presented in a series of workshops in Jamaica in January this year. The participants for the workshops he hosted included athletes, students, sporting officials and associations, and the topics covered were: personality, coaching, team dynamics, youth versus adult competition, stages of development, scholarships and the good and bad aspects for a national athlete. Dr. Hamilton is happy to report that due to his intervention some of the athletes had some success this season “a few of the boys won a basketball title, the track and field athletes had personal bests and they have kept in touch.” E. Patrick Miller who is coming to Jamaica for the first time is one of the most respected Health & Wellness Coaches in the sports, corporate coaching, and entertainment industries. He is one of the pioneers and founding fathers of sports psychology. He has worked with high school, collegiate, professional and Olympic athletes as well as numerous professional teams in all sports, for over 25 years. These "phenoms" and professionals have exceptional talent and drive, but something and/or someone typically gets in the way of their historical success. As the “Zenn Coach,” E. is a spiritualist who has taught thousands of people transcendent and integrated meditation, which he uses along with his clinical, academic, and neuro-chemistry background. He is based in California. Jamaican psychiatrist, Dr. Wendel Abel, is the other speaker on that panel. He is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Medical Science at the University of West Indies, Mona. He has studied, researched and written on depression extensively; but will focus on the role of communities in supporting their stars, who generally emerges from those communities. The session is scheduled for Thursday, May 3 and will be from 1:00 – 3:00 pm Maintaining the Competitive Edge – The Psychology of Winning This session will explain the mental state necessary to cope successfully with competing with the best Presenters: • Dr. Jason Scott Hamilton – Clinical and Sport Psychologist, IOC Certified • E. Patrick Miller – Personal Growth and Sport Consultant • Dr. Wendel Abel, Jamaican Psychiatrist Moderator: Kai Morgan, Clinical Psychologist The two-day event is costing US$150 or J$13,000 for each participant and registration can be done online at www.thebusinessofsport.org The event is a Carole Beckford and Associates and Strategic Corporate Interventions production brought to you by Jamaica Tourist Board, FLOW Jamaica, Supreme Outdoor, Stocks and Securities Limited, Supreme Ventures, BMW, Jamaica Pegasus, KLAS Sports Radio, Wisynco, SportsMax, Samuda and Johnson, Island Car Rental, Singer Jamaica Limited, Usain Bolt Tracks and Records and Alhambra Inn

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sporting Experts in Kngston - May 3 - 4

The Business of Sport is an international forum for leaders in business and commerce in the sport industry; and an opportunity for movers and shakers to exchange ideas regarding a sector which has now been recognized to be an industry. It also provides managers and athletes an insight into their own business and how they can best leverage talent, expertise and value to achieve personal and corporate success. There will be special presentations by Ministers of Sport, Youth & Culture and Tourism - Hon Natalie Neita Headley, Hon Lisa Hanna and Dr. Wykeham McNeill. Conference starts at 8:30 on both days Underpinning of Contracts ■Milton Samuda ■Mike Townley ■Christopher Samuda Maintaining the Competitive Edge ■Dr. Jason Scott Hamilton ■E. Patrick Miller ■Dr. Wendel Abel Image and Dollars ■Ato Boldon ■Bernard Stewart ■Oliver McIntosh ■Kim Bernard Day 2 - Friday, May 4 Money Management in Sport ■Horace Madison ■Steve Wyche ■Scott Kamisnky ■Ryan Strachan Sport and Culture ■Kam-Au Amen ■Dr. Christopher Charles ■Benjamin Bailey Athletes - Up close and personal ■Sandie Richards ■Corey Hicks ■Robbie Earle You can register at www.thebusinessofsport.org and it is US$150 or J$13,000 There is also an impressive list of moderators - Patrick Anderson, Kai Morgan, Michael McMorris, Stephen Bell, Lisa Simone Bell, Robert Richards, Sonjah Stanley with lunch time presentations by Stocks and Securities Limited and Team Jamaica Bickle. The event is brought to you to by Carole Beckford & Associaties and Strategic Corporate Interventions - sponsored by Jamaica Tourist Board, FLOW Jamaica, Supreme Outdoor, Stocks and Securities Limited, Supreme Ventures, BMW, Jamaica Pegasus, KLAS Sports Radio, Wisynco, Sportsmax, Samuda and Johnson, Island Car Rental, Usain Bolt Tracks and Records and Alhambra Inn

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sporting Experts and Professionals meet in Jamaica

April 22 - Not wanting to be left out of the multi-billion Business of Sport industry, Carole Beckford and Associates & Strategic Corporate Interventions have teamed up to host over 17 Sporting professionals and experts to talk strategy about The Business of Sport. The two-day sit down which will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston, starting May 3 will focus on some key areas of contracts, psychology, image and money management, culture and sport and will have former athletes who have been successful. The conference in its second year has attracted among several experts, Bernard Stewart - ESPN; Mike Townley - international solicitor; Horace Madison and Scott Kaminsky - money management experts; while NFL commentator, Steve Wyche and NBC expert track and field Ato Boldon will talk about image and sports. The list, though not exhaustive, will include branding experts, Benjamin Bailey and Kam-Au Amen; while the athletes to tell their side will include USA decathlete, Corey Hicks, Jamaican Olympian, Sandie Richards and ESPN Expert analyst, Robbie Earle. One key area added this year is Sport Psycholgy, and NBA expert psychologist E.Patrick Miller; IOC certified, Jason Scott Hamilton and Jamaican expert psychiatrist, Wendel Abel, complete the list of speakers for that session - Maintaining the Competitive Edge. Registrations can be done online at the fee is US$150 or J$13,000. The conference in the last year, has attracted attorneys, business and marketing professionals, students and sport administrators. The registration so far has highlighted this group again, but conference organisers would like even the curious to join the discussion. The two-day conference will be powered live by Flow Jamaica who has partnered with the conference since last year. The list of sponsors who are from private and public sector, have also been supported by Stocks and Securities Limited, Wisynco, KLAS Sport Radio, Sportsmax TV, JAMPRO, EXIM Bank of Jamaica, BMW, The Jamaica Pegasus and the Branding arm of Government, the Jamaica Tourist Board. The conference combines plenary sessions, business to business matchmaking and special addresses to include the Minister with responsibility for Sport, Natalie Neita Headley; while key partnerships are being established with Island Car Rental, Supreme Outdoor Advertising, Tracks and Records and key media personnel from Jamaica and the region. The world is preparing for the Summer Olympics, less than 100 days away and the World Cup of Football to be held in Brazil in 2014 among a host of other major sporting events over the next five years. "Economies are developing because of earnings from Sport and Jamaica has to be a part of this melting pot," says Milton Samuda, who is doubling as organiser and presenter.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Myths about Public Relations

- It is all about press releases and press conferences
o PR is a cutting edge profession using more strategic approaches
- Once you breakthrough with publicity, you are good
o The same media which pulls you up will let you down hard
- Good products do not need publicity, only bad ones
o You will always want people to know how great your product is
- PR cannot be measured, hence it is not important
o You can’t pin the number down
- PR means controlling the press
o That is not possible
- PR is a job for old reporters
- PR is all about Spin, propaganda and slogans
o PR is really a strategy and requires much more
- PR is easy
o Did I say it was a strategy? Yes it is and requires careful thought
and finally, PR is not Marketing...no it isn't...PR actually complements Marketing

Friday, March 23, 2012


Another online publication has ranked Jamaican star sprinter, Usain Bolt, in the topten of the most dominant figures in the history of sport. Goal.com analmost eight year online publication, specifically aimed at football lovingfans has come out in support of Lionel Messi being the greatest football everand has included the Jamaican as one of the best.

They went a step further and ranked ten other men in various sporting disciplineswho they think measure up to Messi’s fame and dominance. The release asked“What other sportsmen have enjoyed comparable spells of dominance over their respective disciplines? Below, we have compiled an admittedly subjective top10 list of the most dominant figures in the history of sport.”

The piece on Bolt which has a picture of him after his exploits in Berlin says “The fastest man in history, Bolt currently holds the world records for both the 100 and 200 metres; records he did not just break, but absolutely obliterated ...on a cakewalk. Indeed, the reigning World and Olympic champion has recorded times that few thought humanly possible. What's even more frightening is thatthere still seems to be even more to come from the 25-year-old Jamaican. Justlike Messi, really!”

Other great athletes the site listed were: Muhammad Ali – Boxing; Wayne Gretzky – IceHockey; Roger Federer – tennis; Michael Jordan – basketball; Jonah Lomu –Rugby; Michael Phelps – Swimming; Michael Schumacher – Formula One; Sachin Tendulkar – Cricket; and Tiger Woods – Golf.

Bolt,who has the World and Olympic Records in the 100 and 200 metres plans to defend his titles at the Summer Olympic Games in London, which begins on July 27. The records are 9.58 and 19.19 seconds respectively.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


A 2007 study by the World Tourism Organisation reported that Tourism is the fastest growing industry. The study also revealed that international tourism grew by 6 per cent in 2007 to 903 million international tourists. Asia, as a region is expected to have the highest growth. The same study is also reporting that the tourism figure for the Americas is forecast to grow 4.79 per cent per year.

Studies have revealed that Sports Tourism is a multi-billion dollar business, one of the fastest growing areas of the $4.5 trillion global travel and tourism industry. It has become a vast international business attracting media coverage, investment, political interest, traveling participants and spectators. It is estimated that the sports industry can be responsible for as much as 2.5 per cent of world trade.
If sport then is such a decent chunk of the overall tourism product, then there should be a comprehensive effort to attract sports tourist to a destination. There are four distinct types of sports tourism

1. Hard – Olympics, World Championships, NASCAR and Soft – Hiking, Skiing, Rowing, Boating
2. Sport Events – Any type of organised local, regional or international competition which require general movement of people
3. Sports Hall of FAME or where FAMOUS people live
4. Active participants

Jamaica’s position today, gives it three out of four of the above-mentioned areas. We have enough cricket, football, tennis, golf, track and field, netball, basketball and horse racing facilities to have a plan in place for sporting events along with paid and unpaid staff to manage the events. The World knows we have enough famous persons from this country that people will go half way around the world to see…their homes, their place of origin and where they compete. Likewise a museum with the history would be equally exciting. The pool of athletes is increasing daily as Jamaica widens its horizon in sports from athletics to volleyball (A – Z of sport).

So whether it is cricket, track and field, football, golf, tennis, netball, triathlon or the marathon events, Jamaica could do with a Major Event Plan to accommodate events geared at earning, attracting visitors and media coverage strategically positioned in between other major events around the world.

What are we waiting for? Come July 27 to August 12 the rest of the world will watch keenly Jamaica’s performance in the London Olympic Games and all the products and services the island has to offer. How will the benefits be calculated? How will this speak to preparations for Russia in 2013; Brazil in 2014 and 2016 and by extension Jamaica 2012 and beyond?

The inter-agency private and public sector teams should now put their plans in motion with the expertise required to get the requisite funding and marketing support. The Jamaica Tourist Board, JAMPRO and the Ministry of Finance must have a handle in this. Let’s resuscitate the Major Events Attraction Programme (MEAP) which has the framework for this to work.

The Sport Tourist

The profile of a sport tourist is one is in the top ten spending tourists in the world, they are more adventurous, they like to travel, they tend to take family along since sport is such big entertainment and they also tend to return to the destination that offers a great experience.

Sport tourists also travel to destinations that are easy to get to, have great accommodation, fine restaurants and offer a great entertainment package. They also like to visit destinations with history and picturesque locations. Jamaica is an ideal location for Sport Tourists.

March 2012 ©

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Experts coming in for The Business of Sport 2012

KINGSTON, March 10 – Experts in the areas of contracts, financial management, image building and psychology are among the over 20 presenters for the 2012 renewal of The Business of Sport, scheduled for Kingston, May 3 – 4 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

The two-day event, in its second year has attracted veteran NFL commentator and journalist, Steve Wyche; NBC track and field expert, Ato Boldon; financial manager Horace Madison; Personal Growth Consultant, E. Patrick Miller and ESPN Vice President, Bernard Stewart among others.

The event organizing team is seeking to establish a formula for The Business of Sport which can highlight the values of a sporting industry, a sporting brand and an athlete. According to managing partner, Christopher Samuda, “this cannot be done without establishing what the critical success factors that drive value into the industry and what elements are needed to make the formula work.”

The six major areas of this year’s conference will look at
- Contracts
- Psychology – Maintaining the Competitive Edge
- Image and Dollars
- Money Management
- Sport and Culture
- Athletes – up close and personal
Each session is expected to delve into the how and why of the specific areas, but more importantly the implementation and action plan to build the sporting industry in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean – forming partnerships with international experts.
President of The Business of Sport, Carole Beckford is optimistic that in the next three to five years, Jamaica and the Caribbean will not just be seen as a place where great athletes are prepared, but a destination that will host major events and the business matchmaking will be the order of the day. “Investment in sport is inextricably linked to a country’s culture and can be enhanced once the framework is created,” Beckford added.
“As a special tribute to Jamaica’s 50th, the conference will feature a discussion about Sport and Culture – to identify how much more they can be effectively managed to develop bigger income streams for Jamaica. These two industries have consistently given Jamaica positive exposure and should be developed further,” said Beckford. The speakers confirmed for that session are noted brand strategists, Kam-Au Amen, Dr. Christopher Charles and Dr. Sonjah Stanley Niaah.
The conference last year was attended by over 103 participants from Jamaica, the Caribbean, Canada and the USA.
The event this year will be streamed live for a small fee. Early bird registration is US$150 at www.thebusinessofsport.org and if you register up to 21 days to the event it will cost US$175.
Partnerships are being established with FLOW Jamaica, Wisynco (WATA), Jamaica Pegasus, EXIM Bank, JAMPRO, KLAS Sport Radio, KOOL 97 FM, Island Car Rental, Samuda and Johnson and the Jamaica Tourist Board, so far.
The event is a production of Carole Beckford and Associates and Strategic Corporate Interventions.

Contact: The Business of Sport
(876) 754 5637/8

Saturday, March 3, 2012

WICB and Caribbean Relevance

The recent unfortunate outburst in the form of a letter from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson Miller, has caused me great concern in how today's leaders will impact on the next generation in terms of leadership, management, human relations and even how to relate to each other. We often think that the ones who shout the loudest are the ones with the most sense; but in fact they are most times the ones with less to contribute.

The community spirit which once existed with us being our brothers' keepers needs to return and I would like to see the Caribbean being posited as

destination for Business
destination for Sport
destination where people can grow their children and relate to each other respectfully
destination where visitors will want to come to, to relax and enjoy the rich culture
destination where our young entrepreneurs will thrive because elements of Government/Governance have been created to enable growth and development
...and I could go on

We ought to be able to work out what is best for us. Each region is doing what is requires to survive, however, the globalised economy does not require the kind of infighting that is showing its ugly head. We the Caribbean people have some areas that we have shown the world we are strong at and it is high time we maintain that status quo

Cricket is the one sport we have as a region and it should be worthy of proper and effective management. What Ernest Hilaire and Julian Hunte and the rest of the Board have done to cricket is worthy of punishment; however as we seek to resolve this in short order we ask that a mediation team be set up to come to closure.

Again I ask the question...What good is CARICOM or UWI for that matter, both Caribbean-wide organisation and institution?

Without calling names, I would hope we people with integrity and credibility in the region we can call to intervene. This is urgent matter and must be dealt with now. Two weeks ago I urged the WICB to resolve the Jamaica/Chris Gayle impasse within 30 days....there are 15 days left. I wish we would honour this and MOVE ON.

I wait patiently for an amicable solution.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Open letter to Ernest Hilaire and Julian Hunte

I am a concerned West Indies cricket supporter who honestly thinks the efforts to get the best support for the game is not being managed effectively. We the people of the Caribbean would like to know the following:
1.Is Chris Gayle ever going to play again under your leadership?
2.Will the impasse between Chris Gayle and the WICB be resolved, anytime soon, or ever?
3.What are your short and medium terms plan for cricket?
4.How much longer do you both have in office?
5.Are you satisfied that the upcoming tour of Australia has been offered the best options for locations and earnings?
6.When will we hear the truth, nothing but the truth, so help us God?
7.What technical/financial support is being offered to JCA to reach the standard to host a first class test/T20

If you answer YES to any of these questions (1,2, or 5) then the rest of the answers should lead us somewhere. If the answers are NO, then you both should resign.

What NO means here, is that neither of you have the best interest of cricket and it is possible you do not know what to do...cause that is the impression we are getting. I have been following WI cricket since 1974 and this has to be one of, if not the worst spell of leadership I have seen.

We have had the best cricketers in the world and while the performance of the players started to slip back in 1995, way before your time in leadership, you have done very little to help, based on what we have seen/heard. I urge you therefore to
1.tell the people the TRUTH
2.resolve the matters at hand
3.tell us why the best players in the region are out playing for other clubs

I am giving you an ultimatum of 30 days within which time you can call an emergency meeting of your board and do what is required.

WI cricket is dying under your leadership and we as a people do not want that. We like options. Use the best efforts to get this done

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Australia vs. West Indies - March 16 to April 27

I must admit this note is being written with a little bit of anger, so forgive my use of emotive language.

I have not seen or heard of a WICB development plan in a long time, so I am not sure what they have planned for
■player development
■venue development
■financial planning and growth
■media rights and broadcasting
■export of players
■human resource management
■capacity building for countries

What then I ask, what are the statistics with respect to hosting events in the region? What are the top earning venues and how are we going to develop the others? Is this the first time Australia is coming to the West Indies and not playing in Jamaica?

My idea for any tour would depend on the following
■ground transportation
■training facilities
■crowd support/fan base
■foreign exchange rates
■media output
■safety and security

Jamaica as a top-rated tourist destination by any survey has most if not all those in place at a very high standard...then why isn't Sabina Park a venue of choice?

Now it takes me to the point of LEADERSHIP...each participating country must have a plan which includes all the things I mentioned above which feeds into an overall programme and then the WICB would design programmes aimed at improving the sport - amidst all the accusations of insularity, mismanagement, bad mind and just plain inability to get the job done.

One of the best assets in cricket is not representing the WI now. Why? Because a few ill-advised persons have taken it on themselves to apply justice, natural justice and personal vendettas against him (Chris Gayle); and the JCA has said nothing.

We want answers

We want efficient people to lead

We want people with a CRICKET agenda

We want the best business and financial model

Andy Cummings was FAR less a cricketer than Chris and T&T made their voices heard....go figure!

I am sick and tired of the drama...how about you?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Rihanna and the Willie Bounce

The 54th Grammy Awards celebration is now behind us. I enjoyed the 'throw back' because I got to enjoy some really first class music being modernized. I am happy to know Bruce Springstein is still relevant, Bruno Mars gave us a doo-wop performance something Frankie Lymon (Why Do Fools Fall in Love) would have been proud of; The Beach Boys; Glen Campbell (Rhinestone Cowboy) and much more. Chris Brown's Lip Sync was classic, he showed off his physical abilities and his dancers did their thing.

Rihanna has been blazing the trail and representing herself well...and has some firsts in terms of digital sales etc. I may know enough of her music, but her Caribbean origin has is well known, but she has impacted on the world scale and she continues to make inroads. So her 'Willie Bounce' was the topic of discussion last night and into this morning and I am appalled at the words thrown at this lady.

They have been from her physical look, hair, dance moves, videos and the information was almost too much for me; but I say this to say...

1. So she has used Willie Bounce - so what? What have we done with the dance if it is ours

2. The young lady knows her market and is driving her product to meet the needs of her market

3. She obviously knows the power of the Jamaican Brand...do we? If so, how are we using it?

I find us quick to criticise, vilify, destroy people by our comments, without offering a palatable solution, and I am bothered; especially since we are in an economy that the creative sectors of sport and entertainment are so valuable.

I challenge our entertainers and those who manage and support to use our skills, expertise and talent to explore the options, put in to practice and make MONEY from it. In the meantime protect the enviable Jamaican Brand...use what is positive to enhance the Brand and by extension see it as a by product of the rich culture Jamaica has.

Leave Rihanna alone....Mind your own business.

Note: I heard Jeffrey Campbell on RJR 94 FM on Palav and he represented his craft, himself, family and JAMAICA at a level I wish some of our entertainers should. Call Gerry McDaniel at RJR to hear the programme. It was a joy to listen to.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Business of Sport, May 3 - 4, 2012

We are 84 days away from the second edition of The Business of Sport and we would like your continued support. The event will be in Kingston, May 3 -4 and will have two exciting days of dialogue, networking, action and opportunities to create better business relationships. We are using the theme "Stay in the Game" and we think the discussions around

Sport Psychology
Image and Dollars
Money Management
Culture and Sport
Athletes and how they survive

...will help the discussion along as we seek to find new ways and means to get a better handle of The Business of Sport.
We hope you will make the trip. Please go now to www.thebusinessofsport.org and register so we can secure your spot for the event.

You will soon get your notices regarding air travel, hotel accommodation and general transportation. The conference fee remains at US$150. Please pass this information on to your colleagues.

We look forward to hearing back from you

Thanks as always for your support.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bolt is Jamaica's Sportsman of the Year 2011

Usain Bolt was declared Sportsman of the Year for 2011 and won three other awards at the RJR National Sportsman and Sportsman of the Year Award. This is Usain's third year copping the top award, having won in 2008 and 2009. Bolt edged out teammate, Yohan Blake who was runner up.

Bolt also took the first-time Sagicor Iconic award, given to an athlete who has impacted on Jamaican sports and is regarded to having achieved iconic reach and stature.

Outside of the false start in the Daegu World Championships, Bolt ended the 2011 season on top of the rankings for the 100 metres and was part of the record breaking 400 metres relay, for which he also received an award. The other trophy was for him being the Category winner for Track and Field.

Bolt is the defending Olympic Champion for the 100 and 200 metres and is set to open his season on Saturday, February 11 with a 400 metres in Kingston.

Announcements were recently made for his participation in Rome on May 31 and Oslo, June 7.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mistaken Identity? Bolt and Branson

Usain Bolt was declared the most marketable athlete in 2010 and several campaigns in Track and Field (worldwide); Jamaica and the Caribbean have featured this 25-year old Jamaican superstar.

in 2007 ran a world leading in the 100 metres and consolidated his position at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Berlin in 2009, Daegu in 2011 and plans to successfully defends his titles in London in 2012.

Bolt won a 200 m gold medal at the 2002 World Junior Championships, making him the competition's youngest-ever gold medalist. In 2004, at the CARIFTA Games, he became the first junior sprinter to run the 200 m in under 20 seconds with a time of 19.93 s,[9] breaking the previous world junior record held by Roy Martin by two-tenths of a second. He turned professional in 2004, and although he competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics, he missed most of the next two seasons due to injuries. In 2007, he broke Don Quarrie's 200 m Jamaican record with a run of 19.75 s.

He has partnered with Puma, Hublot, Gatorade, Digicel, Virgin Media and has a Foundation which he has used through United Way of Jamaica to give back to the Jamaican community.

One of his most recent partnerships, Virgin Media, sees him pretending to be Richard Branson, promoting a fast service to be offered by Virgin Media in the UK. What that relationship does is combine speed, star quality and puts together two businessmen who are intent on growing their businesses.

Now if that is a case of Bolt have a case of mistaken identity...then we are unaware of what Branding and Brand positioning is.

Let's be positive!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Jamaica as a Sporting Franchise

Lots of ideas are being tossed around now about how Jamaica can capitalise on earnings from sports. And sure the ideas will continue to flow, however there has to be a successful model the country should follow for economic viability. There are some key areas of focus for the sporting industry which can help to make Jamaica a successful sporting franchise

Venues to host events - because sport is a consumer driven activity one has to have an experience to enjoy journeying to a venue to not just watch a game, but be comfortable in a seat, be able to purchase snacks/meals of choice, use clean bathroom facilities, be able to have secure parking, have a well lit facility, be able to host games at various times.
Top performing team - One of the real reasons people support sport is because their favourite team is doing well and does so consistently. That team has a particular colour and fans go out in numbers to watch and cheer. The team in turn should be able to raise funds from selling fan gear. Also the community gets a lot of attention when the team performs well
Marketability - teams should have a star or two...players/athletes that can be related to. The player/athlete should be able to identify with a wide cross section of people, identify with the community and be able to capture the essence of the brand he/she is representing. Those qualities are complemented by the ability to look and sound good and manage effectively on the field of play
Have a marketplace - teams can use the community/town of origin and its history to create a buzz so people become curious, then have information which can be shared to the wider public. Take for example New York - they have the Knicks, Yankees, Giants, Jets, Rangers...all of which has kept a particular level of performance. The fact that the NY Giants could go all the way, would certainly create an additional umph for the physical place and would drive activities like merchandising, media presence and the feel good factor for a long time
Media relations - Jamaica has to have content for the media at all times; be conversant with the use of new media to send out its messages and be open to communicating with the media even in times when things are not going as planned. Jamaica's image is strong in the minds of sporting fans and should always remain in the minds whether through merchandise, personality or just consistent media presence
Entertainment Value - the importance of Entertainment should not be ignored and as a result, no sporting event should take place without an entertainment component. Jamaica's star power in Entertainment is available and should be efficiently interwoven into sporting events
Merchandising - even though we have some complication with image rights of some of our stars, Jamaica's messages should be so strong that items can be taken to the market and financial rewards about - "I am Jamaica - I am strong and bold" "I am Jamaica - I am fast and reliable"

After 50 years there are some things we can let go, however in going forward, let us have our own values and attitudes resonate in Jamaica and across the rest of the world.

The Olympics is very close - less than 200 days, but then there is World Championship T&F in Russia in 2013, World Cup Football in Brazil in 2014, World Netball Championship, Boxing Events, Golf Events some of which we can leverage to continue to promote the Brand...what say you?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Football (soccer) Scholarships for Jamaican Athletes

A few football (soccer) coaches from the USA were in Jamaica over the last week looking at talent and making offers. Our Jamaican students from all accounts do not lack talent and in most cases, have the requisite academic qualifications to matriculate for colleges from Division III right up and even Community Colleges where applicable. What is happening through, is the young people and their parents are not familiarising themselves enough with the rules of the NCAA and this could prove to be problematic.

Here are some tips
1.There is an NCAA Guide to enter college website you can look at and study
2.Most times you need SATs (scores vary); unless you are a college student in Jamaica
3.It is illegal to accept money from ANY Coach
4.You should not prepare to attend the school without the requisite visa (I-20)
5.If you plan to visit beforehand, parents should accompany their children (which parent sends off a teenager to a strange place without doing basic investigation)
6.The NCAA is there to help balance education, sport and social life - use them
7.Get offers in writing on official letter heads and confirm with college, that the coaches do in fact work there

While we may seem desperate for opportunities, it should not make us make silly decisions which may affect children's future and make them inelligible for lots of other opportunities. Also, go to www.ncaa.org there is lots of information there.

Let's not ruin our young people's lives any further....and guess what, if you do not know, ask questions.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Treasure Beach Sports Park (ready for Spring 2012)

The newly constructed Treasure Beach Sports Park, due to officially open to the wider region and the world, this Spring 2012, was the venue for a visit from three top soccer coaches out of the USA on Tuesday (January 3).

The coaches who traveled from West Virginia University, Villanova University and FC Delco Club toured the 15 acre facility which will eventually house
■Four soccer fields
■Three cricket strips
■Four tennis courts
■Basketball and Netball court
■Recreational area with picnic tables and equipment
■Bathrooms and changing area
■Equipment and Storage facility

The facility is complete with an irrigation system and is staffed from residents of St. Elizabeth led by Project Manager, Jason Henzell, owner/proprietor of Jakes Hotel. The facility currently hosts teams from the community Super League where matches are played on the main field. Henzell has assembled a team of techinical, administrative, marketing and operational professionals. Corporate sponsors are already coming onboard to be a part of this innovative Sport Tourism product, nestled in the south west region of Jamaica.

The Treasure Beach Sports Park is now in phase one of four parts and will be ready to host national/international camps and tournaments as of April 2012.

In addition to the facility, there is a Youth Leadership programme which is also a major part of the operation and will form part of the overall offer to national and international groups who will use the facility.