A new strategic marketing and brand management plan has been launched by the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) to help it achieve its target of winning at least 10 gold medals by 2024.
The TTOC claims it is adopting an entrepreneurial, vibrant and dynamic market driven, new business development approach to revenue generation for its programmes and projects.
In an effort to support the marketing plan and vision, the TTOC has set up an in-house marketing department that will handle its marketing, branding, new business and commercial development, merchandising and licensing programme.
The mandate of the TTOC marketing department is to break down barriers with new ideas and approaches to help it achieve its goal of 10 Olympic and Paralympic gold medals by 2024.
The scale of the the challenge can be seen by the fact that since making its Olympic debut at London 1948, Trinidad and Tobago have won only two gold medals, thanks to Hasely Crawford in the 100 metres at Monteal 1976 and Keshorn Walcott in the javelin at London 2012.
The country has never won a medal in the Paralympics, having made their debut in 1984 and appeared at Seoul in 1988 before a 24-year absence until they returned at London 2012, sending a competitor in athletics and another in swimming.
"As an organisation we must always strive to celebrate and embrace disruptive thinking and challenge conventional wisdom," said TTOC President Brian Lewis.
"This department will drive the TTOC's business and commercial agenda, growth and value strategy.
"We are at a critical juncture, and it is of even greater importance for us to achieve financial independence and strength for the TTOC while at the same time maintaining the TTOC's identity and not compromising its core Olympic values and ideals."
The TTOC intends to put in place the required legal checks and balances for Rio 2016 to protect its Olympic franchise, including the TTOC, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Team and the legitimate TTOC Olympic sponsors and partners, from opportunistic marketing and ambushers, it has warned.
In highlighting the issue, Lewis stressed that the TTOC has to ensure that cash flows into, not out of its coffers so that the organisation can support not only athletes, but key projects and programmes that aim to develop sport in Trinidad and Tobago.
"It's one thing to understand what your brand stands for but it matters not unless you protect your brand," said Lewis.
"Defending your rights and what you stand for is central to what the Olympic Movement is all about.
"Ambush marketing is not a game.
"It's a serious issue that can undermine the TTOC's efforts to fund its 10 gold medals by the year 2024, Athlete Welfare and Preparation programme and other programmes such as women in sport and sport for all."
Exclusivity is deemed the cornerstone of the Olympic Movement's marketing programmes, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and National Olympic Committees providing partners with one of the highest levels of protection of any major sports property.
In keeping with this, the TTOC will look to take all the necessary advertising and legal measures to educate the public on who the TTOC and TTO Olympic Team sponsors are, and take steps to protect its right and those of its partners, it has promised.
Under the IOC Olympic Charter, the TTOC has sole and exclusive authority for the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Team, Olympic Movement and Olympic franchise in the jurisdiction of Trinidad and Tobago.
"We have to protect our sponsors and partners promotional rights," added Lewis.
"We will not be turning a blind eye.
"At this time we want to assure our sponsors and partners that our Olympic team will be protected by the TTOC.
"At the TTOC we have a duty, obligation and responsibility to develop and use the Olympic brand to its full potential.
"It's something we take quite seriously, and our in-house marketing department will form a key part of this."
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