Building a Strong Brand Jamaica in the Global Sporting Industry

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Brando Hayden, managing director of JN Fund Managers, has called for Jamaican athletes to leverage the power of Brand Jamaica to create financial stability, while making a wider call for Jamaica to deepen its understanding and actualise the immeasurable value of its brand on the world stage and within the global sporting industry.

Mr Hayden was speaking as a panellist at the recently held two-day PPPIVOT Peak Performance Summit 2024 at The University of the West Indies,recently, which sought to give attendees from all industries an opportunity to hone their own peak performance through best practices from industry experts in areas including leadership, entrepreneurship, mindset, strategic influence and financial performance.

Financial Literacy

Speaking from a unique perspective as both the managing director of JN Fund Managers and a former World Athletics athletes’ representative (agent), Mr Hayden emphasised the need for athletes to make wise decisions to secure their financial future, through financial literacy, and access to wealth-building solutions offered through the JN Group. From a brand-building perspective, he advocated for a better understanding of the role of price discovery mechanisms in negotiations, by which athletes can gauge the value of their worth and work, to be able to reap the financial benefits for long-term financial success.

Brando Hayden, managing director of JN Fund Managers, a member company of the JN Group - Brand Jamaica
Brando Hayden, managing director of JN Fund Managers,

“When I speak about price discovery, we need to appreciate our relative value, not only in our space, but globally, through Brand Jamaica, so that we can monetise it fully,” said Hayden during the panel discussion on “Optimising Entrepreneurship and Financial Performance”.

Building Jamaica’s Brand

He further highlighted the significant value that Jamaican athletes bring to buiding the country’s brand, with a proliferation of sporting events, now easily accessible across several media platforms worldwide. He argued that this measured exposure should be used to provide a benchmark for the negotiation of endorsement deals athletes and governing bodies receive.

In addressing the opportunities international brands have seized to partner with Jamaica’s athletes, Mr Hayden pointed out that some of the deals may not have fully realised the financial value of the governing bodies and the athletes.

“It is a bit of a pet peeve for me. But at the same time, we must recognise that our association with many international brands outside Jamaica has also helped to develop our brand. So, it goes both ways, but as with the international brands, we now need to start to appreciate more fully the value of what we bring to the table,” Hayden added.

He also addressed the broader issue of Jamaica’s need to own and extricate the immense value of its culture as a whole, given how pervasive it has become in every corner of the globe.

“Who exactly is the keeper of our brand? The tendency is to say government, but I don’t know if it’s only the government’s responsibility or if the government is necessarily equipped to do that. But I must say that there is a need for us to capture a lot of the value that seems to be flying away from us, so that we can continue to build the brand and the economy in a sustainable way,” he stated.

How to Leverage Brand Jamaica’s Value

Business and trade expert, Tastey Blackman echoed Mr Hayden’s sentiments, underscoring the need for industry data to assist in measuring and leveraging Brand Jamaica’s value. She emphasised the collective responsibility of the private sector, individuals, and the government in that effort, calling for more focus on intellectual property protection in the digital age, and for international alliances and collaboration with countries experienced in brand management, to assist Jamaica with actualising its true brand potential.

Dr Andre Haughton, senior lecturer in Economics at The University of the West Indies, Mona, recommended conducting an audit of all elements representing Brand Jamaica. He stressed the importance of identifying the different elements of the brand and their commensurate value, so as to facilitate rigorous and fair negotiation for compensation when those elements are used by  others globally.

“Until we categorise the different aspects of Brand Jamaica and then state specifically what these aspects are, we will not be in a position to be able to earn and generate income from these different aspects as they present themselves in the global market,” Dr Haughton explained.

The symposium underscored the importance of understanding, managing, leveraging and capitalising on several key aspects of Brand Jamaica’s value to ensure sustainable economic growth and fair compensation.