Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sporting events need stronger support

The week of March 10 – 17 this year was a spectacular week for Kingston starting with the Kingston City Run (March 10) and then CHAMPS (March 12 – 16). This precedes another massive sporting week to include Jamaica vs. Panama (Football) and the 22nd Venus International Volleyball Championship (March 22- 24). While the fire at the Wyndham was unfortunate and rooms stock depleted, there was the undisputed truth that Kingston was the place to be. Following the health fair, 5K, half marathon, after for the Kingston City Run, we should have had locations outside the stadium in select areas of the island where crowds could gather to watch the spectacle of CHAMPS to allow our residents and visitors alike to share in the vibe and the record-breaking track and field event. What then should have happened is a massive reggae concert on Saturday to give patrons an additional event to go to, as we seek to showcase the ‘best of Jamaica. Amazingly I saw an article in the Gleaner – Jamaica dips in Tourism Competitiveness – citing a lack of knowledge of the cultural experience in Jamaica. The article went on to suggest that many of our visitors know little of that cultural package Jamaica has to offer and that the marketing agency, the Jamaica Tourist Board, should pay keener attention to circulating that information to a wider global community. While I agree with some of that assertion, I also suggest that our event planners pay much keener attention to planning for calendar activities at least one year in advance to give patrons the opportunity to insert important events in their calendar. Much has been said about sport and its ability to attract a wide cross-section of patrons, much of whom are becoming the more affable members of society; they will have money to spend to ‘have a good time.’ That is the new trend of sport tourists and that good time includes not just the sporting event, but a great restaurant, party and access to good pieces of memorabilia. Can we at least get this going for 2014? What that means, is any event planned for January to July next year, should have already started some kind of planning, even to secure the dates and to get the right expertise on the teams. Go for teams of seven….no more, and take critical decisions to ensure the most efficiently run events. The decreasing sponsor dollar must attract the best return on investment and that to me is key. While the marketers look at the immediate returns on products/services, I differ and think a confident and assured consumer will eventually access the products/services later. Remember a disgruntled consumer takes seven times as much to convince to (re)like your services. The media is critical to the success of any event and with social media reaching far and wide, this platform must be used to promote and record the historical moments in all formats. We have to engage all demographics and create something for everyone, while focusing on a specific market share. If we commit to making sport an active part of our almost stagnant economy, we must make better decisions. Let’s look at the numbers, but do not underestimate the power of a satisfied internal and external consumer. I look forward to July 1 to June 2013 period, where Jamaica’s event will be structured around the strengths of what we are known for, a sporting destination with the best food, entertainment and PEOPLE.

Friday, March 8, 2013


KINGSTON, March 8 West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) presidential candidate, Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron is recommending the “re-engagement of Corporate Caribbean” as part of the process in growing the cricket product in the region. Cameron, who is a vice president now, officially presented his manifesto on Friday in Kingston. His campaign and recommendations for the sustained growth in West Indies should come mainly from systems which facilitate improved development of the talent, having greater access to revenue streams, and the restoration of Caribbean pride and unity. The presidential candidate also stated that “when the West Indies does well domestically and internationally the region enjoys a sense of togetherness which transmits positive vibe and energy, but the board will have to lead a process which makes that energy translate into a more successful business model for the sport.” He highlighted the successful performances of all the teams over the last three years, stating that there are tremendous opportunities to build on, and he hopes to be given the mandate to lead that charge stating that “those optimistic activities have opened doors for the rebuilding process to continue.” “Building cricket as an industry will take some paradigm shift and the process to do this must be an all inclusive one,” stated Cameron. He believes the region has the requisite skills to undertake this massive job, and knows the region is poised to foster the growth of cricket. Responsibility which has so far played a key role in how Cameron and his team want to operate and will see the territorial boards being empowered and being held accountable; upon which he believes will widen the talent pool and by extension giving the technical team much better options for the variety of competitions the teams will be involved in. Cameron’s support so far for the post of president has come from Jamaica and the Windwards, both of which have publicly declared their support. At the presentation in Kingston, the audience was a mix of corporate and cricket officials’ support. The March 27 election which will be held in Barbados will see current president, Julian Hunte against Cameron, while the candidates for vice president are Joel Garner, Barbados and Emmanuel Nathan, Dominica.