Thursday, October 18, 2012
JAMAICANS TO PRESENT AT ACADEMIC SPORT CONFERENCE IN AUSTRIA
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.