Monday, February 3, 2014
Monday, February 3, 2014
The band’s performance was a part of a Bahamas night at the Heat vs LA Lakers game.
The marketing initiative was a part of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s Sports Department contractual agreement with the Heat organization aimed at exposing The Bahamas tourism product to thousands of sports fans.
Minister of Sports Dr Daniel Johnson, who was in Florida for the performance, predicted a “breakout year” in sports tourism for The Bahamas.
Dr Johnson pointed out that several large-scale sporting events will be held in The Bahamas this year. January marked the start of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour at Paradise Island, when Jessica Korda won the second annual Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.
“We have the World Relays coming to The Bahamas,” Johnson said. “That’s the entire world, all the greatest athletes in The Bahamas. Usain Bolt was in The Bahamas a couple weeks ago. He went down to the stadium, checked it out. We have Tiger Woods bringing a very special event. We are going to have professional baseball, professional basketball, professional soccer. We are going to cap off the year with the first ever Bahama Bowl, NCAA football game–American football game–in the National Stadium. It is going to be fantastic.”
Minister Johnson said The Bahamas’ goal is to become the number one sports destination in the region. He said he believes that working with the top teams in the region would accomplish that goal.
Long-term initiatives with the Miami Heat are part of the strategy, Johnson added. He revealed that after the Miami Heat held part of its training camp in The Bahamas last year, many professional teams started inquiring about how they could hold training camps in the country.
“If you put about 10,000 people in The Bahamas, we can generate an impact of about $25 million,” he said. “We, as a government, intend to seed that. You put in $1 or $2 million and that is the return we can get on our investment. But there is a bigger return. There are careers in the business of sports. So, when I talk to people about sports, I am not talking about who is going to win a race or win a game. I want to know who is doing the broadcasting, who is doing production, who is doing the set up, logistics, coaching, transportation, etc.”
Tourism permanent secretary Harrison Thompson (left) and Minister Daniel Johnson (centre) with the Miami Heat’s Alonzo Mourning at Bahamas Night at American Airlines Arena. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)
Alonzo Mourning, the Miami Heat’s vice president of player programmes, said spending time training in The Bahamas was good for the team.
“I know I speak for everybody in the Heat organization when I say that we couldn’t think of a better place to have training camp,” he said.
The Royal Bahamas Police Force Band performing at Bahamas Night at American Airlines Arena, Florida, January 23. (BIS Photos/Derek Smith)