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 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.