Marketing The Caribbean Through Cricket – Basil Springer

by Basil Springer

“And then he told them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.’” – Mark 16:15

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados | The upcoming ICC T20 Men’s Cricket World Cup, scheduled for June 1-29, 2024, transcends mere sporting competition. It stands as a pivotal global event fostering international dialogue, cultural exchanges, and broadening economic opportunities, including significant avenues for tourism growth.

In the Caribbean, cricket is not merely a sport; it is a foundational element of our cultural heritage, identity and international acclaim. This tournament, with its extensive global viewership (some say there are 2.5 billion cricket fans) and media exposure, offers an extraordinary opportunity to present the Caribbean not only as a hospitable venue (alongside the U.S.) but also as a region vibrant with diversity, dynamism and unity. This occasion is a testament to our region’s capacity to organize and execute world-class events.

Andrew Mason’s radio program “Mason & Guest”, airing on Barbados’ VOB FM 92.9 on Tuesdays, provides thorough analyses of West Indies Cricket. It features a global panel that updates listeners on various aspects, including preparations and logistics for the World Cup, across 10 venues in the Caribbean and the U.S.

The World Cup will draw teams, fans, media and global officials, who will immerse themselves not only in the games but also in the unique cultural and natural experiences the Caribbean offers.

Furthermore, this event is a prime platform for promoting the Caribbean as a top-tier tourist destination globally, far beyond the event’s conclusion in June. It enables us to highlight our natural splendors, rich culture, and warm hospitality to a worldwide audience.

Reflecting on the 2007 ODI World Cup in the West Indies, I recall two significant missed opportunities to market the Caribbean. While en route to a presentation in Singapore, invited by Dr. Carlisle Boyce of 3M Asia Pacific, my son Bevan and I observed a conspicuous lack of Caribbean tourism-related coverage in the media of the UAE, Sri Lanka, and Singapore, despite their extensive reporting on the tournament.

During a meeting in Singapore, an experienced journalist of a noted travel trade magazine distributed across the Far East, suggested that comprehensive exposure in her publication could be achieved through a familiarization visit to the Caribbean. Unfortunately, this suggestion was not acted upon by the powers that be upon our return.

With the ICC now comprising 108 member nations and 20 participating teams, the World Cup is a golden marketing opportunity for the Caribbean. Millions will be watching and engaging online. The question remains, how do we leverage this attention to boost tourism?

Perhaps it’s time to develop, enhance or revive strategies that allow us to diversify our tourism catchment areas beyond the traditional Western markets. Our combined cricketing prowess and tourism appeal uniquely position us to achieve this.

Dr. Basil Springer
Dr. Basil Springer

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is a Change-Engine Consultant. His email address is [email protected]. His columns may be found at www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com/basil-springer-column/ and on www.facebook.com/basilgf).