Jamaica’s Minister of Sport, Olivia Grange, says Jamaica could consider carving out a niche market in relation to the sports goods industry comprising of equipment, accessories, and apparel.
She was giving the keynote address at a two-day Inter-Regional Conference on the Strategic Use of Intellectual Property in Sport, which opened in Kingston on Wednesday.
Grange said Jamaica could also consider marketing itself as a sport destination, similar to Dubai. “Although the strength of the Jamaican brand is unquestionable, the country has not developed and executed strategies to ensure it maximizes the investment made over a century in developing the unique Jamaican sports brand, which had its roots, and saw success, as far back as in the 1890s.”
Grange believes there is no doubt Sport is an important contributor to the success of the national brand.
“Sport plays a significant role in Jamaica’s position as a global brand. When we think of Jamaica we think of the components of uniqueness, competitiveness, the level of worldwide awareness of our music, our sport, combined with our physical location and its attributes,” Minister Grange said.
Always excelled on world stage
“Jamaica has always excelled on the world stage in many sporting disciplines. Whether it’s netball, cricket, athletics, boxing, swimming, golf, tennis, table tennis, winter sport such as bobsledding, dog-sledding and ski cross. Our blind Cricketers, Paralympians, Special Olympians have also had phenomenal successes on the world stage.
National Sports Policy
“Now we are being guided by the National Sports Policy, which promotes the integration of sport in the national economy with the creation of globally competitive products and services and the enhanced earnings of our athletes’ associated industries.”
She said the conference was just one of the activities being undertaken by her ministry to ensure the required outcomes were achieved. “The strategies going forward requires the partnership of everyone. It has to be a joint effort.”
Branding and image
The minister said the branding and image of a country are the successful conveyance of this image to its exports and is just as important as what is actually produced and sold by the country. A priority of the Sports Policy is to enhance and leverage the sports component of Brand Jamaica.
Grange encouraged coaches, administrators and others involved in activities related to sports to see how they can brand and further commercialize their assets.
“Jamaican sport is built on integrity, accountability, transparency, and excellence, among other principles. We should capitalize on these principles by protecting the intellectual property rights associated with our athletes and sporting institutions. All sports programs must be athlete-centered,” she concluded.