KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s sport industry is at an interesting turning point. Over the next four years leading up to World Cup Football 2026, there are a number of international competitions that Jamaica can qualify for and will participate in. The Summer Olympics 2024, World Athletic Championships 2022 and 2023 and World Cup Netball 2023 are just some of the elite global competitions to prepare for.
What that means is the athletes will be consistently in preparation mode. While I understand that the resources for a developing nation like ours may be scarce; there are opportunities to package sport to attract investors so the end game of positive results are accomplished.
Some of the vital information required could come from:
- Number of professional athletes (male and female)
- Number of sporting disciplines being pursued at the international level
- An indepth look at the countries that these competitions are in to see what bilateral agreements we have (and how to strengthen those for technical assistance)
- A template of how to attract global brands to the sport (which may help to guide how athletes pursue)
- Venue upgrade for all sport (and to refurbish those that could be used otherwise)
- The parishes that are producing the top-tier athletes
- Also, we can rank the sport for their dollar value and people participation
Jamaica has been able to, using sport and entertainment, capture a positive brand image for well over seven decades and to continue or enhance that position, there has to be investment in those industries.
Jamaica will also host a number of regional and international events during the time, up to 2026 and we should be mandated to collect data related to income – tickets, media rights, merchandise and endorsements.
The current system, regrettably, doesn’t necessarily facilitate this, however, this is a clear opportunity to prepare the next generation of talented athletes to be ready for the world.
While this call focuses on a major economic input, there are other values which can be met from this investment. The social capital is a clear benefit.
Global research declares growth in the sport industry and there is no reason Jamaica should not benefit. There are enough technical, administrative and marketing players in the island to create a small team to invigorate this research. I know where these people are, but I am declaring this call publicly for buy-in. The rewards will come.
Note: Carole has worked across the sporting industry in the capacity as an athlete, administrator, marketer and manager.