Christopher Samuda, President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA).
Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) President Christopher Samuda has made a case to further push for sport to embrace and institutionalise a commercial model, which should position it has a stronger driver of economic activity.
“History tells us that sport long ago evolved into a business and the current times signal that it is continually revolutionising into a commercial enterprise of which tourism, entertainment, health and wellness, technology, fan engagement and media broadcast are principal drivers,” he said as he spoke at the press briefing of the Jamaica Lacrosse Association at Olympic Manor recently.
Samuda disclosed that the JOA is pursuing what he describes as a “commercial eco-sport model”, the governing body having successfully partnered with the Jamaica Lacrosse Association and the Jamaica Darts Association (JDA) in winning the bids to host regional championships which are each expected to pull more than 700 players and fans collectively to the island.
In emphasising the importance of the model and what he further referred to as the “ecology of sport,” Samuda said: “Let us be clear. The infrastructure of sport encompasses tourism, entertainment, health and wellness and culture, not as friends or even first cousins. They are siblings of one blood, born and bred in the same household”.
Samuda went onto to say that “that must be the way to go in sport in trademarking viability and building sustainability. That is the road on which the Jamaica Olympic Association is exhorting our member associations and all stakeholders to travel if we are serious in a construct that marries sport with tourism, entertainment, and culture in a multi-faceted relationship in which all parties realise tangible economic benefits, brand competitiveness and advantage as well as infrastructure development”.
Jamaica has always been well-positioned to be a sporting mecca, therefore the “commercialisation of our sporting assets require strategic visioning and planning, practical and efficient deployment of resources and an active understanding of market segmentation dynamics”, said Samuda.