How Bolt As A True Global Icon Benefits Jamaica
There are some people – one Lady actually wrote a letter to the Editor of the Gleaner – who think Usain Bolt messed up by celebrating with an Italian instead of a Jamaican flag at the end of his scorching Samsung Diamond League run in Rome last week.
The idea is that money has gone to the Legend’s head. That he has forsaken Jamaica by celebrating with foreign flags, warming up in colors of a foreign football team, and appearing at a news conference in a New York Yankees hat.“In all my years of watching track and field events on television, I have never seen anything like this” – the writer said. As if that were a bad thing.
There is something magical here, that may have massive monetary implications for Jamaica. The shortsighted – like Miss Letter to the Editor – miss it.
The Magic of a Legend = Money for a Country
There was one other Jamaican who embraced all cultures of the world as they embraced him. Robert Nesta Marley. Only the foolish may think that Bob belongs to Jamaica. He always donned his Jamaican and Ethiopian and Rastafarian colors – but Bob Marley connected with all people, embraced all people.
The implications? A $1 BILLION U.S. a year business (How much money does “Bob Marley” make each year?).
It is unclear how much of that $1 billion from Bob Marley’s estate is spent in Jamaica – however, Jamaica’s tourism product directly benefits each year from a world of tourist in love with a Legend.
Long Live the Legend
To the upset Jamaican track fans: Legends surpass nationality. They are a gift to humanity, for all to enjoy. When they are as embracing as Usain Bolt – they are to be encouraged.
BUT don’t worry. Legends make money. When Italians treasure Bolt as their own, and see the respect he has for them – they will come to his home. They will stay in hotels. They will buy yam. You get the drift.
As long as Bolt runs for Jamaica, sings the anthem on the podium (and doesn’t get too carried away until he forgets Jamaica’s colors) – then we say, Long Live the Legend.