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24
Sat, Aug

Photography Courtesy Allan Crane: Kevin Roberts, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith (middle) and Mr Ephraim Serrette .

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If Brand Trinidad and Tobago is to become a world class global sport brand the challenge is to move from talk to action and to do so not someday but now.

Stakeholders in Trinidad & Tobago sport were challenged to take a personal responsibility in helping establish a thriving sport business in the country during the 2016 TTOC Sports Marketing and Business of Sport Conference, ‘Towards Economic Growth and Diversification.’

 

Over 100 thought leaders, influencers and key decision makers from sport, finance, media, technology, investment and government discussed key issues, challenges, exchanged ideas and insights and proposed solutions and new relationships capable of helping to shape the future of sport and the sports industry.

Among the key takeaways from the day’s discussion- were:

 

  • Trinidad and Tobago, home to some of the best known athletes in the world and the top properties in global sport:  The goal is to build and scale a Trinidad and Tobago multibillion dollar Sports Industry by year 2030.
  • TTOC (Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee) will establish a Think Tank that will brainstorm strategic discussions in respect of finance, investment, communications, event planning, marketing, business development and public relations as it relates to the development of   a sport business industry master plan and a unique selling proposition (USP).
  • Maximising assets and investing in the future:  The need for immediate action, a new paradigm and a rethink.
  • How can the sports ecosystem in Trinidad and Tobago leverage and seize upon the commercial revenue opportunities locally, regionally and globally.
  • Global trends in respect of the growth of social media platforms, mobile consumption and services create significant opportunities for brand Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Marketing Trinidad and Tobago as a destination for sports events, meetings- including regional and Continental single sport championships, Continental ,International Federations General Assemblies and International Federations Elite Training Centres
  • Trinidad and Tobago can be a serious player in global sport and a pioneer and best practice case study on how a small Island state can use sport to diversify its national economy and link sport to other sectors of tourism.
  • Trinidad and Tobago is a multibillion dollar sport and entertainment business: Strategically spending and investing in sport, marketing and positioning Brand Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Building the economic footprint and attracting foreign direct investment into the Trinidad and Tobago sports ecosystem with the specific goal of building commercial revenues.
  • The TTOC  ( Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee ) intends to progress the inaugural National Beach Games in 2017 and position Trinidad and Tobago as the Beach Games capital of the Region with Tobago as the Beach Games epicentre.
  • Trinidad and Tobago Sports Hub - A coherent and integrated sports monetization strategy is to be developed with the involvement of local and foreign expertise.
  • Team TTO Beach Games National Delegation-With approximately 20 sports to feature at the inaugural ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees) 2017 World Beach Games in San Diego, USA. The TTOC intends to use the inaugural National Beach Games proposed for 2nd quarter 2017 as a selection showcase.
  • Digital media will play an important role in growing the economic footprint and increasing the level of engagement with fans.
  • Opportunities for growth include beach games, mass participation events (MPEs), women's sport, extreme sports and esports.
  • The challenge of taking the required action, changing the mind set and rethinking rests with Trinidad and Tobago sports stakeholders.

 

CONTEXT AND COMMENTARY

Brian Lewis, President Trinidad & Tobago Olympic Committee

 

“When vision 10Golds24 (10 or more Olympic Gold medals by 2024) was publicly announced many people said it was crazy and unrealistic.  In fact some people still do but since then we’ve witnessed a groundswell of support from the corporate sector and individuals. Citizens who understand the power of sport and who want to see our athletes thrive on the global stage.

 

Sports is entertaining, and its largest events like the FIFA World Cup and the upcoming Olympic Games drive billions of dollars in revenue, but it is more than just that. It is also more than just a business. Former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Anan, once said “Sport is a global language capable of bridging social, cultural and religious divides. It can be a powerful tool for fostering understanding, tolerance and peace...it teaches us teamwork and fair-play. It builds self-esteem and opens up new opportunities. This in turn can contribute to the well-being of whole communities and countries.”

Trinidad and Tobago needs sport. Not just because it can help repair the torn fabric of our society but because it makes sense economically. Research from some of the world’s leading consultancies including RSR and PWC has shown that over the period 2000-2012, sports grew faster than global GDP. The global sports market generates $600 to $700 billion US  or roughly 1 percent of global GDP annually. Now more than ever as we face unprecedented economic uncertainty brought on by falling oil and natural gas prices we need to take concrete steps to secure our future.

 

To do this we need to harness our talent and empower our people. Any coach worth his salt will tell you that there are only two things he or she can control – talent and culture. In researching the global sport ecosystem, RSR consultancy said “people are the only form of a sustainable, competitive advantage. It is literal advantage.” I would also add that no organization, industry or country can compete over an extended period of time without the best talent in critical positions.

 

Despite the limitations we face in size, we have the skill, the talent and the drive. Nobody demonstrates this better than our athletes, some of whom are already tapping into the sport ecosystem by launching clothing lines and colognes. It is my hope that having heard Kevin Roberts, Founding Editor of Sport Business International and the other speakers and panellists speak today, that you leave here feeling inspired. Sport can and should play a role in contributing to the rejuvenation and diversification of our economy.

The challenge for us is to find a way to leverage our natural attributes to carve a slice of the sports pie for ourselves. To do this we must deliver entertaining and compelling offerings that set us apart from the rest of the world. We do this with Carnival ever year. There is no reason we cannot do it for sport.

As the umbrella body for the Olympic movement, The TTOC is dedicated to advocating for an integrated, transparent, accountable and innovative sport eco system that will enable and inspire a viable and sustainable Trinidad and Tobago sports industry. We cannot do it alone, which is why we brought everyone together today to discuss topics with great implications for the sporting industry such as finance, legal, media, technology and marketing.

 

If Brand Trinidad and Tobago is to become a world class global sport brand the challenge is to move from talk to action and to do so not someday but now.

 

The Conference acheived everything expected- vibrant, interactive and highly relevant. The speakers and panelists were influential , informative and thought provoking . The attendance exceeded expectations as the original target of 65 delegates had to be expanded as 152 persons registered for the invitation only conference.

 

With the Trinidad and Tobago economy facing a recession Sport is a strategic investment. The Conference acknowledged  that a particular focus on developing a sustainable sport industry had not just business and tourism benefits but public health,  social benefits including creating heroes for young people to aspire to.

Given the power of sport. There is a place for brand Trinidad and Tobago in the modern sporting world. The twin Island Republic has a sports participation  tradition and culture that can be the platform for an innovative, creative, modern,globalized and sustainable Trinidad and Tobago sports industry.

In the world of elite and professional sport winning drives financial success.

 

Legendary Coach Vince Lombardi once said " individual commitment to a group effort is what makes a team work,a company work,a society work, a civilisation work."

TTOC’s 2016 Business of Sport Conference (Agenda)

Submitted by Brian Lewis,  President of the TTOC  (Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee ).

Wednesday 9th March 2016 as a summary of the 1st TTOC Sports Marketing and Business of Sport Conference held Wednesday 9th March at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain, Trinidad.