As difficult and challenging as the year may have been, positive progress was made in certain areas. One such positive was the first Sport IndustryTT conference held in March. The conference met the expectations of those who attended.
What are some of the key perspectives that will guide and stimulate the needed conversation?
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 sport industry by year 2030.
• TTOC 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 T&T 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 intends to progress the inaugural National Beach Games in 2017 and position T&T as the Beach Games capital of the region with Tobago as the Beach Games epicentre.
• 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) 2019 World Beach Games in San Diego, USA, the TTOC intends to use the inaugural National Beach Games proposed for second 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.
• Brian Lewis is president of the T&TOC. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the T&TOC.