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?