KINGSTON — A licensing and merchandising programme is currently in place to ensure that Jamaica reaps all the benefits from its 50th anniversary celebrations next year.
“Our licensing and merchandising programme serves two purposes, one to give greater visibility to Brand Jamaica…and as a revenue earner,” Project Director, Jamaica 50th Secretariat, Lenford Salmon, said today (December 20), at a JIS ‘Think Tank’.
Mr. Salmon emphasised that the programme is critical, as there are property rights, chief of which is the Jamaica 50th logo.
“The logo is legally registered across the world, so it is not a free-for-all for people to use it. How the programme works is, we send out an expression of interest, which is a broad outline of what we plan to do, and you express to us whether or not you have an interest in such a programme. Once you indicate to us that you have an interest, we send you the documentation, which outlines in detail how the licensing programme operates,” he said.
“Essentially what it does, is to give you a guideline in how the logo can be used. There is a broad cross section of products – apparel, gift ideas and trinkets…It also relates to events. For example, if you are having an event and you want it to come under the banner of Jamaica 50, there is a process of licensing and endorsement you have to go through, so that it can be an endorsed event. Likewise, if you are putting out a t-shirt with Jamaica 50, it has to come under this banner,” Mr. Salmon explained.
Some of the endorsed events, he noted, are the Jazz and Blues Festival, Rebel Salute and Reggae Sumfest.
The Project Director is encouraging everyone to comply with the requirements and guidelines, pointing out that infringement of copyright carries various penalties and legal implications. “We want as many people as possible to benefit, but it must be through a structured process,” he added.
Mr. Salmon informed that there is a licensing and merchandising committee in place, which will bring oversight to the process to ensure there is transparency.
“We are giving opportunities to every single Jamaican wherever they exist, hence you would have seen some advertisements inviting people and telling them what the opportunities are, and to apply to Jamaica 50 to be licensed,” he said.
Mr. Salmon noted that there are various costs, depending on the particular engagement of each client.
“What we often find, in programmes like these, is that small entrepreneurs feel left out, because they can’t quite qualify with all of the barriers and all the requirements for getting involved at the top level. So, we are also creating another level for small entrepreneurs. At the upper level, it’s royalty payment on each item you sell, but at the lower level, we are looking to develop a programme of just a flat fee,” he said.
The Project Director explained that the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is working closely with other key Ministries, such as the Ministry of Tourism, to use Jamaica 50th celebrations to strengthen Brand Jamaica as a destination.
The year-long celebrations will run from December 31, 2011 to December 31, 2012 and will include a number of activities being celebrated on a larger magnitude than in previous years.
For further details, members of the public can call the Jamaica 50th Secretariat at 978-7654; visit their website at: www.jamaica50.com; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter