Benefits to Accrue Through Cricket Legacy Programme


With Jamaica spending millions of dollars to host the current ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC), the Government is moving to ensure that benefits will accrue to the island long after the event has ended.
With this in mind, Jamaica Trade and Invest (formerly the Jamaica Promotions Corporation), will be undertaking a number of initiatives to assist the business community to maximise the opportunities coming out of CWC, which was officially opened on March 11.
These initiatives will be pursued under what is called: The Jamaica Cricket Legacy Programme.
This programme focuses on the long term benefits to Jamaica as a result of playing host to CWC, as the government sees this as an opportunity to reposition the country in the global economy as a business and investment destination.
“The Jamaica Cricket Legacy Programme will look at all the things we did prior to, during and after Cricket World Cup 2007,” says Robert Stephens, Project Manager for the Jamaica Cricket Legacy Programme at Jamaica Trade and Invest.
“We are looking at linkages with Indian investors and Indian film producers, so as to get the film industry in Jamaica on a more solid footing,” Mr. Stephens tells JIS News in an interview.
“We are also looking at the whole area of information and communications technology, and the transfer of technology from companies in India to Jamaica and companies in Ireland to Jamaica,” he adds.
The Legacy Programme aims to enable enterprises to access opportunities by providing procurement information, and offering business support and upgrading services.
He points out that the benefits of hosting Cricket World Cup in Jamaica could be very tangible, as more than 2.6 billion people worldwide were tuned in to see the opening ceremony on March 11.
Mr. Stephens says that the building of the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium and the renovation of Sabina Park in Kingston are examples of the legacy that Jamaica has gained from hosting the event.
“We can look at marketing Jamaica as a major sports tourism destination, where we can organize, for instance, tours of youth teams from all over the Americas to come to Jamaica for a youth competition,” he explains.
“You can imagine teams coming from Brazil and North America to Jamaica to enjoy the facilities and play a youth tournament. That is the kind of thing we want to begin to develop the capacity to do, and I think Cricket World Cup is preparing us for that,” he adds.
The Project Manager says he believes that the exposure that Jamaica is getting will be “to our benefit in terms of tourism, in terms of investment, in terms of trade and just brand Jamaica getting out there”.
“It is all about people knowing that Jamaica is not just a place where we can have fun, but we are a sporting giant, a cultural icon in the world.that we are open for business, so people can do business with Jamaicans,” Mr. Stephens says.
“When you look also at the benefits in terms of the things that are going to remain, such as the hospitals, the roads, and the airports.I think that you can see that there are tremendous value that is going to be there for the future,” he notes.
Mr. Stephens tells JIS News that the value of the exposure that Jamaica has received from hosting Cricket World Cup is estimated at US$100 million.
“If I were to put a dollar figure on hosting Cricket World Cup, you can add the US$9 million that we are getting in ticket sales, the US$100 million we are getting in television exposure, and the approximately US$20 million that we are getting in terms of money being spent by visitors who come just for the matches,” he says.
“We also need to look long term, because the estimates are that we are going to get about US$400 million additional investments over the next five years. We are also looking at about US$198 million to $200 million worth of trade being developed from this,” Mr. Stephens argues.
The Jamaica Cricket Legacy Programme is being carried out under several initiatives namely, Brand Jamaica, Caribbean Business Opportunity Service, Caribbean Business Club and Jamaica Investment Attraction Programme (JIAP).
Mr. Stephens explains that the term Brand Jamaica “is putting Jamaica on the forefront of the world to indicate to them that, we have a brand that is not only recognizable worldwide, but is sought after”.
“Jamaica has this excitement about it, it has this unique culture, it has the music and craft that is exciting to the world, and what we want to do is to begin to be able to identify those products and those services which we regard as world class, that we can put the brand of Jamaica on and say we are proud of this product,” he says.
He informs JIS News that the Legacy Programme is an opportunity to expose Brand Jamaica to the world, adding that, for instance, at the opening ceremony, there was a very strong influence of Brand Jamaica, such as the colours of the country and the Jamaican performers.
“So we had an opportunity to show 2.6 billion people what Jamaica is all about. We certainly did portray a positive image of Jamaica, and it is something that encourages people to look at Jamaica as a place to visit as an attraction, a place that they know of our sporting capabilities and we want them to think of doing business with Jamaica,” says the Project Manager.
Explaining the link between JIAP and the legacy programme, Mr. Stephens says that JIAP has more to do with targeting investment opportunities.”What Jamaica Trade and Invest has done is to go out and target business people in India, Pakistan and Ireland and promoted to them what are the benefits of doing business in Jamaica,” he explains.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to give a positive impression of Jamaica, not just in terms of our sporting culture, but our ability to organise things and get them done properly. That is the image that we are trying to build out there. Jamaica is known for its beauty, its people but we are also open for business and today’s Jamaica does mean business,” says Mr. Stephens.

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