Tourism campaign hails Spice Isle Olympian

Kirani James.
AP Photo/Keystone, Jean-Christophe Bott
AP Photo/Keystone, Jean-Christophe Bott

The name Kirani James will not soon be forgotten. Not in his homeland, Grenada.

Nicknamed “the Jaguar” James won the 400 metres race, a distance usually guaranteed by athletes from the USA.

Not only did he win the race but in the process won the first gold medal at an Olympic competition for his country.

Using the 19-year-old’s name and habits, the Grenada Board of Tourism recently launched a targeted campaign designed to reinforce the message of the Spice Island brand as a unique selling point of distinction for potential visitors.

Capitalizing on the heightened awareness generated by his Olympic conduct, they developed a short-term, web-based campaign aimed at turning name recognition into new visitors.

Entitled, “Celebration of Kirani: Celebration of Grenada,” the campaign incorporates a specially designed logo featuring the Olympian carrying Grenada’s national flag with the tagline, “Grenada: Gracious Every Day.”

Already being promoted with an integrated approach at their tourism’s website, digital advertisements and social media pages the two-fold campaign is becoming a popular feature. Among the elements included in the campaign are: a “Quote of the Day” initiative utilizing quotes about the athlete from traditional and social media; an island tour of James’s Top 10 things to do and see on Grenada; weekly press releases; social media posts; and a video program featuring footage of his Sept. 1-3 homecoming.

The teenager’s “gracious and humble spirit” demonstrated to a global audience during the 2012 London Olympic Games, also lauded the nation’s 110,000 people as well as typified the spirit of the international games.

“Since Kirani James’ gold medal Olympic win and his highly publicized gesture of goodwill toward fellow competitor Oscar Pistorius have elicited such an emotional response from people around the world, we have initiated a campaign to capitalize on the awareness built for Grenada as a result,” Dr. George Vincent, minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture said recently. “When he (James) asked to exchange bibs, his magnanimous and unpretentious spirit became reflective not just of his own personality, but that of all Grenadians as genuine, warm and friendly, thereby increasing the appeal of the island as a desirable vacation choice.”

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