Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year in Review 2008, Preview of 2009

Most of you would have read all my contributions regarding the need for Jamaica to capitalise more on Sport Tourism. As we close 2008 and look forward to 2009, let us hope for a brighter tomorrow

Highlights of 2008

Summer Olympic Games in Beijing

Usain Bolt's 9:69 seconds in the 100 metres, 19:30 seconds in the 200 metres
Jamaica's women sprinters in the 100 metres all on the podium

Michael Phelps in the pool, eight medals

American Football: New York Giants taking the Super Bowl over the New England Patriots. Manning was stunning!

NBA: Boston Celtics win in the NBA. Pierce was fierce!

Look out for the SuperBowl

NFL: Indianoplis Colts, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins (winner could come from here)

NBA: Boston looks vulnerable, but could repeat. Lakers are looking FOINE!

Track and field: Bolt, Asafa Powell, Tyson Gay
Shelly Ann Fraser, Veronica Campbell, Melaine Walker will sizzle in Berlin

Sport fan prepare thyself for an exciting ride in 2009

More time!

Monday, December 29, 2008


So the last two times we spoke, I recommended we target college students and to have a joint marketing effort for Sport Tourism and Entertainment. The response to those two suggestions has been good.

Another recommendation I would like to put on the table is a familiarization (FAM) tour of well known and targeted journalists/media entities who would find this concept of “Jamaica as the Sport Tourism Capital of the World” exciting and interesting enough to take a trip.

Well as we approach probably one of the most exciting sporting calendars anywhere this side of the world, with the track and field, netball, football, basketball and volleyball events scheduled to take place in 2009; let’s make a special effort to promote this destination.

Track and field has been given the edge, simply because the World Championship is on this year in Germany and the Jamaican athletes have grabbed the attention of the world and there are other athletes who are out to get them. Not just there though, there are other athletes in Jamaica who will be jostling for positions on various teams.

So the Gibson Relays, the high school spectacle – Boys and Girls Championships will maybe attract one of the biggest crowds in 2009. Fans are hungry for good sporting competition. And with the Reggae Boys out of the World Cup, the other sports will fill the gap. These sporting disciplines are traditional and so it is the packaging of the participants which will have to marketed properly.


On the non-traditional side; how about a mountain climbing competition on the Blue Mountain Peak? I know it is just over a mile up, but this is Jamaica. While there they can see where the best coffee comes from, possibility where some of the best tasting water comes from and lots of other fascinating history lessons to be learnt. Promote it for during the time of Misty Bliss. There is also a cycling trail which can be accessed to attract another type of participants.

How about a walk race from Ocho Rios to Runaway Bay? I am just thinking of the many possibilities we have and in these challenging times, creativity and innovation must take precedence.


Invite targeted media here and show them the lay of the land. This has to be directed at the Sport/Business journalists. Go outside the United States and look seriously at Germany for example. Following the performance of Jamaica at the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, the world is expecting great performances and competition. Bring them here to excite them from early.

There are nine strong newspapers in Germany which cover sport. Here is a quote from a website “After the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1990, Germany became one of the greatest nation sport ever had, and sport press couldn't be different!”

They take sport seriously. Let us capitalize.

Note: The feedback has been great from you all this great keep the emails and phone calls coming. I appreciate them.
As we are in the Yuletide season, let us care for those among us who are less fortunate.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Joint Marketing for Sport Tourism and Entertainment

Ever since the days of Reggae Sunsplash and in recent times Reggae Sumfest, Jamaica has had a tremendous impact on the entertainment market both at home and abroad. Equally, sporting events hosted in Jamaica has had equal impact, from the Norman Manley Games to the May Invitational. So what this means, is, there is great importance on cultural and sporting events.

In capitalizing on the synergy which exists, the country has to be committed to ensuring that the systems are in place for joint marketing to take place. In these trying economic times, creativity in promotion is way more necessary.

There first has to be political commitment. At the planning level, however, the best event planners must be consulted. Also all the stakeholders have to be on board for this to be successful; from small to large properties. When the crowds come, we ought to have the capacity to accommodate them. Plan these events for when tourist arrival is at the peak periods, so there is guaranteed support from the overseas market.


Studies have shown that the people who like entertainment, generally like sport and vice versa. As promoters in this country we should first of all agree that sport = entertainment. So whether it is a sport event or a concert, we must give the consumers value for their money. It would even be more worthwhile when they are combined in the same package.

In 1999, the Germans reported a total of 58 million outbound holiday trips. Of that total they reported that 32 million or 55 per cent involved a sport oriented trip. The report also stated that 55 per cent of that total were men, ages 35 – 44 years of age, who spent from four to seven nights spending anywhere between 250 – 499 Euros each.

The same report highlighted that also in 1999, 52 per cent of the 13 million outbound holiday trips from the Netherlands involved a sport oriented trip with the same spend, but the most dominant age group was men aged 25 – 34 years of age. While France had a 23 per cent of its travelers attending sport related trips, they spent up to 500 – 749 Euros each.

How have we capitalized on those three markets in marketing Jamaica as a sport tourism destination? It was suggested at a sport tourism conference some years ago that sport makes a society feel like themselves (again), especially in a time of stress.

Talent abound

The talent in both sport and entertainment is plenty in Jamaica and so we have the basic ingredients. I know there are some calendar events which may not be easy to adjust, so let us work with what we have. Jazz and Blues in January – how about another triathlon then? We have 3,000 extra rooms built in recent times.

Sumfest in July…how about a beach football, beach volleyball, mountain climbing tournament? These are just a few of the non traditional sporting events which attract the sport and entertainment tourists.

Try it

I want us to try these new and innovative ways in our thinking. I see where the Jamaica Tourist Board has appointed an officer to pay close attention to sport tourism. It has to be the best move in a long while. I just hope Howard McIntosh gets the support he will need for the programmes to be effective.