T&T Olympic president Brian Lewis has cautioned national sport organisations that bullying corporate Trinidad and Tobago and the traditional dependency on government funding are not effective marketing strategies to develop sustainable revenue generation.
Speaking at the Sports Marketing and High Performance Workshop, hosted by the TTOC in collaboration with the US Olympic Committee (USOC), on Saturday, Lewis called for all in Trinidad and Tobago sport to step up and place strategic marketing and commercial revenue generation at the forefront of their day to day activities. "Sport must contribute to the sacrifice that all of Trinidad and Tobago will be required to make. The dependency on the State can't be the default position. NSOs have to develop their marketing and brand building capacity as the main driver of revenue generation," said the no nonsense president.
Lewis described the workshop as timely, given the reality of the hard economic times facing the country.
Apart from Lewis, there were presentations from Michael O'Conor, United States Olympic Committee (USOC) managing director - business development and Michelle Brown, director, performance operations & strategic planning.
Brown has responsibility for developing the annual and quadrennial plans for the USOC sports performance department while O'Conor is responsible for marketing revenue.
Lewis, Brown and O'Conor all hold European University confered Executive Masters Degree in Sport Organisation Management (MEMOS ) through the International Olympic Committee.
The 29 participants included Jehue Gordon, 2013 400m hurdles world champion and Paul Voisin, (National Association of Athletics Administrators of Trinidad and Tobago (NAAATT) vice president.
Both the TTOC and USOC strategic marketing plans were used as discussion points during the marketing focused morning session.
During the after noon period Brown presented on resource allocation strategy with a focus on decision making.
At the end of the workshop participants expressed positive views about the content , delivery and format of the workshop.
"Great. Very informative. Lots to think about. I learned some important practical stuff about marketing," said Gordon.
Both USOC presenters agreed it was a day well spent.
"The groups were interactive and enthusiastic to learn about marketing best practice," said O' Conor.
Brown pointed to the fact that the diversity of experiences and sports allowed for an insightful and thought provoking session on resource allocation.
"It's our first time to the Caribbean. Sharing the USOC ideas and approaches and having the groups adapt them to the local (T&T) environment and give presentations on their group work created meaningful interactions and knowledge sharing ."
In her closing remarks TTOC secretary general Annette Knott thanked the participants for taking the time to attend the workshop. "As volunteers your time is a premium and you have any number of excuses not to attend. But you saw the importance and came."
She also noted the long standing support and guidance the TTOC receives from the USOC.
"We appreciate and treasure our close relations with the USOC. Even though they operate in a huge market and get not an iota of government funding. Their best practice principles are adaptable to our T&T environment."