Why Sponsoring Caribbean Events in South Florida is a Win-win for Business

Sponsoring Caribbean Events in South Florida
Jonathan Beckford, Marketing Director of Miami Carnival

SOUTH FLORIDA – Caribbean American projects and events in South Florida represent a vibrant and thriving segment of the community, rich with cultural and economic opportunities. Despite their significant impact, many corporate entities overlook the potential benefits of engaging with these initiatives. Giovanni Moss, the creator of Road Ready TV, and Jonathan Beckford, the marketing director of Miami Carnival, provide compelling insights into why businesses should embrace these opportunities.

Giovanni Moss and Road Ready

Road Ready TV brings a unique perspective to the importance of sponsoring Caribbean American projects. Born in the Bahamas and now based in Florida, Moss has dedicated his career to community service and sustainable development.

Road Ready, Moss’s carnival-themed reality show, follows a group of carnival enthusiasts as they experience various Caribbean carnivals. The show not only highlights the fun and excitement of carnival, but also delves into the cultural and historical significance of these events. The first season, set at Orlando Carnival, explored the intersection of carnival with the history of Black people in the area. Upcoming seasons will feature Miami Carnival, Jamaica Carnival, Trinidad Carnival, and St. Lucia Carnival, showcasing the diversity and richness of Caribbean culture.

In a recent interview, Moss emphasized the broader implications of carnival. “Carnival is not just about having a good time; it’s about economic empowerment and cultural pride,” he said. His goal is to use Road Ready TV to promote and preserve Caribbean culture while creating economic opportunities for small businesses and vendors associated with carnival. The next season of Road Ready will air in August on the Road Ready TV YouTube channel during Jamaica’s Independence weekend, fittingly covering Jamaica Carnival.

Miami Carnival: A Cultural and Economic Powerhouse

Moss, who has recently entered a strategic partnership with Miami Carnival, emphasizes the dual benefits of partnering with Caribbean American events. “Aligning with brands like Miami Carnival offers a direct gateway to significant cultural and economic impact,” he explains. His partnership leverages Miami Carnival’s expansive reach, which attracts thousands of participants and tourists, boosting local businesses and the economy.

In a 2022 article in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, Jonathan Beckford highlighted the economic ripple effect of such events. “The tourists that arrive for Miami Carnival fill planes, hotels, and car rentals. Everyone benefits, from street vendors to major retailers,” he noted. According to the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Miami Carnival generates an estimated $30 million in economic impact annually, with spending on hotels, transportation, dining, and shopping contributing significantly to the local economy.

Miami Carnival is an annual event that celebrates Caribbean culture and heritage through a vibrant display of music, dance, and elaborate costumes. Established in 1984, it has grown into one of the most significant cultural festivals in South Florida. Attracting participants and visitors from all over the world. The carnival includes a variety of events such as the Junior Carnival, steel band competition, J’ouvert (a pre-dawn parade known for its colorful paint and powder), and the main parade and concert.

Held during the Columbus Day weekend, Miami Carnival 2024 will take place from October 11th to 14th.  The festival showcases diverse Caribbean music genres like soca, calypso, reggae, and dancehall.

Strengthening Community Bonds

Sponsoring Caribbean American projects also strengthens community bonds. Miami Carnival, for instance, is more than a cultural spectacle. It is a unifying force that brings together people from diverse backgrounds. Beckford emphasized this in a 2019 WLRN article, saying, “Carnival is a time to get together, have a good time, and reconnect with friends and family.” This cultural cohesion fosters a sense of belonging and pride among Caribbean Americans. As a result, enhancing community engagement and support.

Moss echoes this sentiment, noting that Caribbean American communities are eager for initiatives that reflect their heritage and identity. “Supporting ourselves first is crucial,” Moss asserts. “When Caribbean businesses back these projects, it showcases our culture’s vibrancy and potential, encouraging wider corporate participation.”

Opportunities for Corporate Entities

Corporate entities miss significant opportunities by not tapping into Caribbean American projects, Moss says. These events offer unique platforms for brand visibility and customer engagement. He points out that Road Ready TV has not yet landed a major financial partner, despite its growing popularity. He notes that corporations are missing out on opportunities for direct access to an economically and politically influential demographic of Caribbean Americans by not supporting projects like Miami Carnival and Road Ready TV.

The economic contributions of events like Miami Carnival are significant. According to the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Miami Carnival generates an estimated $30 million in economic impact each year. Which includes spending on hotels, transportation, dining, and shopping contributing significantly to the local economy. In 2023, Greater Miami and Miami Beach welcomed over 27.2 million visitors. Events like Miami Carnival played a pivotal role in attracting tourists.

Additionally, approximately 1.1 million Caribbean Americans reside in South Florida. In Miami-Dade County alone, it is home to around 864,800 Caribbean immigrants, according to the Migration Policy Institute. This demographic is deeply connected to events like Miami Carnival, which celebrates their cultural heritage. One in five residents in Florida is an immigrant, making up over 21% of the state’s population.

Enhancing Cultural Appreciation

Sponsoring Caribbean American events like Miami Carnival also plays a critical role in enhancing cultural appreciation. Beckford discussed this in a 2022 interview with Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, stating, “Beyond the economic and social value, there’s significant artistic and cultural importance.” Elements like Trinidad’s King and Queen competition and Miami Carnival’s Junior Carnival are testament to the hard work and creativity involved in these celebrations.” You know how much work goes into one of those king or queen costumes? Some of them are as high as 15 to 20 feet, and 13 to 15 feet wide. They’re on wheels and really a spectacle to behold,” Beckford elaborated.

Moss also highlights the educational aspect of these events through his Road Ready TV show, which aims to promote and educate about carnival culture. “Carnival is one of the unifying pastimes for Caribbean people. It represents expression, freedom, culture, and inclusiveness,” Moss explained in a recent interview. By showcasing the cultural richness and historical significance of carnival, initiatives like Road Ready TV help dispel misconceptions and foster a deeper appreciation for Caribbean heritage.

The multifaceted benefits of supporting Caribbean American projects and events, as outlined by Giovanni Moss and Jonathan Beckford, underscore the significant cultural, economic, and community advantages these initiatives offer. Embracing these opportunities allows businesses to enhance their visibility, and engage with a vibrant community. Most importantly, contribute to the flourishing cultural landscape of South Florida.