Black History Month

Black History Month.
Black History Month February 2015.

To launch our ¨Event¨ page in February 2015, we realised it was a necessity and responsible to start with celebrating Black History Month!

We are all aware of this historical month and  we are proud to display the progress the world has made in regards to acknowledging those who sacrificed their lives for a better world.

However, we do feel responsible to also feature and highlight the inspirational stories from todays African communities.

We have decided to give our loyal readers a chance to honor and also acknowledge some of the individuals that were not recognized in the past. We are encouraging our readers to submit information and inspirational stories to our digital platforms. That information, which require to be supported facts, will be open for discussions and  responses from the public via our digital platform(s).

We are honored to have those digital panel discussions hosted by celebrated author, Tim Rice.

Mr. Tim Rice highly regarded book: The Missing Link

The Missing Link
The Missing Link

Available here:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Missing-Link-Simple-Living/dp/0990623408

Corporate Social Responsibilities in Sports… “Tackling Racism”

 Jerome Fitts

In January 2015, the stories published on racism in futbol has become boring. This piece is in regards to the lack of efforts from those who are involved in the current status of racism in Futbol.  It is becoming apparent that the efforts of  “Zero Tolerance to Racism” isn’t working.  We have to ask ourselves; “Is there a better way of dealing with the problem that is protecting the officials that can control the problem?”

If Gordon Taylor, the president of the Professional Futbol Association in England, has acknowledged the problem, then why haven’t there been more pressure on the sponsors to extend their “(CSR)-Corporate Social Responsibilities”?  There have been advertisements during major matches but a limited and controlled amount of responses from the coaches and players

Compared to 25 years ago, the sport of Futbol is led by the media which is financed by advertisements.

Ukrainian football fans with Nazi flag
Ukrainian football fans with Nazi flag. 2014.       Getty Images.

In the English Premiership, where shared media dominates the global networks, there is minimal coverage on racism in sports. The public knows it’s there, the organizations have always known, and finally, the players within their boundaries are acknowledging it. The difference in today’s game is the effect it has on corporate finance.

The business trading secrets of the game is becoming more restricted yet racism has become more exposed via the new age media platforms. The multi-billion-dollar question is: What are the Corporate Social Responsibilities of the sponsors?

Black Managers in Futbol:

It is a well-known fact that there are no Black Managers in top Futbol Leagues. The major clubs are displaying a lack of confidence in hiring black managers. The hiring of black managers at a prestigious club could mark a change in the opinions of the fans and supports of the club. Futbol is a tradition in the European society which is led by community influences and the aforementioned could be a historical landmark in the sport. Perhaps the advertisement banners from the head of the clubs could display “Change is what’s needed”, or “Trust in our decisions”.

Birminghams Chris Hughton. Courtesy of Getty Images
Birmingham’s Chris Hughton.
Courtesy of Getty Images

FIFA nor the top leagues are making it mandatory for the clubs to interview potential black managers. The published stories of comparing the Rooney Rule, which exists in American football is irrelevant. However, comparing the American Sports system to the rest of the world is not only irresponsible but delusional. The monetary value and sports marketing concepts have become similar, but the ethics within the E.U. are complete.

FIFA Commitment And Activation:

FIFA  creates campaigns to fight against spectator racism. They have sponsors and rely on the cooperation of the sponsors. Without giving to much attention to what more FIFA could do, those campaigns are making little difference. There has to be more pressure on league officials and the futbol clubs.

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibilities)

The sponsors, which employs all nationalities in their global offices,  have little to no choice but to act on the race issue. Sports marketing is entering a new frontier and finance garnered through the sport is measured in billions.

Lebron James attending a Liverpool FC match-
Lebron James attending a Liverpool FC match-

How would Lebron James, who happens to be a minority shareholder in Liverpool FC, react to his fellow brothers being called monkeys during the matches? Surely there has been some information transmitted during the due diligence of the currency exchange. Was the due diligence process based around ignoring race issues in order for Mr James to disburse a check?

Liverpool Futbol Fans. 2014
Liverpool Futbol Fans. 2014

Appointing Black futbol ambassadors would be ideal if there was an effort to build race relations from the governing bodies of futbol.

The Players:

All of the players, who are contracted to play the game as employees are aware of the racism. However, their reactions have limits because the contracts signed does not stipulate unconditional tolerance of spectators reactions or opinions.

The reaction to spectator discrimination is left up to the club officials who are predominantly white. The reality is racial comments have been made for years. The difference today is, those comments are exposed because of the new age media platforms.

It’s hilarious that all sports are dominated by people of colour but tackling spectator racism in sports is a mediocre priority. Why are we tolerating it? Does the money earned soothes the wounds or strengthens the blinds?

The most avoided question is; “Do they care?”

The European Union

“Is racism in sports exempt from the moral responsibilities of the European Union?”

The lack of inability from the governing body of Futbol to control racism in the sport is clear. Because of those inabilities, the E.U. has increased interest in imposing measures to protect the human rights of the players.

German Fans vs Ghana. World Cup 2014. Getty Images
German Fans vs Ghana.
World Cup 2014.
Getty Images

The Article 13 Treaty of Amsterdam, which protects civilians from racial discrimination throughout Europe was suggested, however it has little to no influence over spectators discrimination. Ironically enough the spectators who hurl the abuse are the supporters of the clubs without whom, the clubs would not exist.

To conclude the efforts thus far are duly noted, but those efforts do not represent the results.

End of Part 1.

Part2 (The year 2020!).

“A Series of Train of Consequences” The Balkans Part 1- Summer 2014

“Train of Consequences”

Contributed By: JFitts

All photos taken by: JFitts

I have decided to mark the last two months of unequivocal events into a post that that our few readers might relate to. Besides, this is a blogging post where the truth has to be told based on supported facts and gathering those facts takes time through a real journey. Through the never ending WorthJourney, which we do not intend on ending, there is a selection of real music from artist that have influenced not only enquiries about different cultures from around the world but what also motivated those artist into writing the songs.

For this particular journey there were a few songs that made a difference to me but two of them stood out; James Blunt “No Bravery” and Megadeth “Train of Consequences”.

The “Train of Consequences” started as my departure from my beloved Rodos by accepting an invitation from a “friend- if they really exist these days” to come and see him in the Balkans. Where? Sit tight and pour your coffee as this might be a tasty one.

Leaving Greece heading to the Balkans via Ferry and Sea
Leaving Greece heading to the Balkans via Ferry and Sea- late May 2014

This particular friend, lets call him Dou, is Albanian and just like most things in the world I am open to anyone. Not that it should have mattered, but I had very little idea of knowledge of the traditions of the region as well as if there were any conflict(s). But obviously Dou knew this. You see I had invited Dou and lets say Fio, to participate in a event in Ireland in January of this year for the latter part of the summer. In conditions of the arrangement, I would visit them in their country(s) first and see if they were the individuals I would have liked to have partake in this special event.

I set sail on the 36 hour world wind trip from Rodos, Greece that included a ferry to Athens to a bus to Thessaloniki and from there I was to meet Dou in Skopje, Macedonia. “From there bro, my father will take us to Prishtina.” Dou said.

I was like kewl, so I packed a bag with a few cameras and started filming along the way.

I was informed in Thessaloniki, that traveling to Macedonia was more or less forbidden unless I took a van via a private company. I had no idea there was tension in that area and I have to admit that I was under the impression that Skopje was part of mmm well I didn’t know or cared. I trusted my friends and with my camera in hand and a half-gallon of Ouzo it didn’t matter. Nevertheless when I enquired about a ticket to Macedonia I was told politely that, “This is Macedonia”. Eh?

Macedonian political campaign.
Macedonian political campaign.

“THIS IS MACEDONIA”

I purchased a ticket from an unusual ticketing agency, and asked, “Will there be any immigration problems?” The response was; “Sir you have two passports and one of them is an American passport so you will not have any problems!: I took that as a clear sign to have another swag of the Ouzo and recharge my Cannon for some exclusive filming.

The ironic thing of it is, the border from Thessaloniki to Macedonia is only a little less than an hour away, so I had to be a little kewl with the booze and sight seeing. For some strange reason I have this weird sixth sense when I am traveling and even though I ignore my sixth sense for the most part, those senses are always right.

The luxurious van journey. Photos By: J.Fitts
The luxurious van journey. 

The van arrived at the border and it was as if we were crossing into a land of another state on Mars. The van driver collected the passports from everyone on the van (most had either Bosnian passports or Serbian passports), so I was a little more than relaxed. But that big man called the “sixth sense” told me to keep an eye out while we waited in the van. Sure enough the big man “sixth sense” got a little bigger when the van driver return with only one passport in his hand- Mine!.

“You must pay 6,000 euros or you wont be allowed to cross..”- The driver said with a smile. My first thought was maybe I should have given this guy a shot of my Ouzo. But he was serious. So I followed him back to the passport control and was told; “No its not 6,000 euros but its 600 euros unless you show proof that you are a E.U. resident.” I did. Then the cute little lady from the Greek passport office asked me, “Where are you traveling to?” I answered with a confidence smile “Macedonia”.

If you have ever heard a balloon burst in the middle of a funeral this then this was as close as it could get. The cute Greek passport agent, suddenly turned on me and said, “You are in Macedonia!, its going to be 600 euros sir.”

Upper right corner my leave fee from Greece? the first time in 6 summers coming and going with two passports, I had to pay a fee?!
Upper right corner my leave fee from Greece? the first time in 6 summers coming and going with two passports, I had to pay a fee?!

After decades of traveling throughout Europe with little to no trouble, I couldn’t believe I had to pay for my ignorance or flirtation. Here the train of those consequences was going off track. Luckily I had the money on me to pay, but 600 euros going into Macedonia or Prishtina was like 2 months of wages in those parts. Suddenly I heard Dave Mustaine’s words from the classic Megadeth track (Train of Consequences), “I am doing you a favor while I am taking all of your money…” rang out in my head. Ironically enough the cute passport control girl frown turn to a grin, just like it was in the video.

Once I met my friend Dou, in Skopje, we were on our way. Funny enough he was a little shaky and I couldn’t understand it. (More details later). But we were off to Prishtina. I had asked Dou before setting off from Rodos, “Shouldn’t we chill in Skopje first and then go up to Prishtina?”. His answer was “Bro, there is nothing in Skopje, Pristina is a lot better and there is more to do!”- Read on.

We arrived in Pristina at 11 pm, and I was beyond tired. All I wanted to do was have a shower, put on some clean clothes and chill.

First and foremost, there was no shower. The water system in Prishtina only works at certain times of the day. They are from 7am to 10am and from 4pm to 10pm so that not only meant I had missed the water schedule but showering or cleaning up was out of the picture.

The outskirts of Pristina, Kosovo
The outskirts of Prishtina, Kosovo

This was my first introduction to a formally conflict and war torn country. Even still we continued to go out. In true WorthJourney fashion, a new territory meant checking out the food, beverages and above all the entertainment scene.

But wait, this is Kosovo!—I was wondering why along the journey from Skopje, Dou had referred to certain areas as “Bro if you could see this in the day time, this and that happened in this small town and that small town, but those fuckers would kill my people along this road, but I will tell you later”. Dous’ people were Kosovo Albanians. From my recollection and influence of the large amounts of Ouzo, I paid little attention to him because I knew we would get to that subject later once the camera was rolling.

Besides I have friends or people I would consider brothers and sisters from everywhere and more than anything some people I cared about were from Serbia and they were the exact people that Dou was complaining about. It was none of my business and part of their recent past, so I chose to remain kewl and just enjoy the ride and venture. Talk about first impressions.

That night I saw perhaps the most remarkable looking women I had ever seen. I couldn’t believe I didn’t know more about the region other than the war conflicts and the fact that there was EULEX – (European Union controlled police), that was there if there was ever any trouble.

E.U. endorsed national park. Photos by: JFitts
E.U. endorsed national park.
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The next day, and taking advantage of the running water for a 3 day old shower, we eventually roamed out in the city. Again the women were absolutely beautiful, the people were calm and every now and then I would see a U.N controlled car go by.

Being the person I am and I am not one to past judgment, the big man “sixth sense” was rearing his head again and there was something more than creepy about my so called friend. He was shaky and all of a sudden his English was getting worse and worse. The only thing he would say to me was; “when do we start work and when do we see money?”

Here we were, totting around with a broken travel bag of mine, both very hung-over, a little cold (and this is June), completely shattered from the 3-day journey still and all he has to say to me was; “When do we start work and when do we see money?”
My response was simple; “Dude I am doing this film either way, it’s a hard graft, but for fucks sake, I just got here!” “Tell me what’s up. It’s your country and your territory.”

I ended up entertaining myself with some of the nicest people in the world, bikers from Albania and Kosovo. Religion, politics or hate related issues never came up. The subject matters were making sure I had enough beer, food and smiles. Without a doubt a highlight of Pristina. This was the perfect example of NOT putting everyone in the same bracket as well as every first impression deserves at least a majority outlook. For the life of me I couldn’t remember the bikers organization nor the names of the individuals I spent the day with.

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A misconception but to rest. “Nothing but a good time”.

Its amazing how much we have in the western world when it comes to free thinking and ideas. I couldn’t believe that people actually depended on others in regards to when to think, when to act and what should be their next move. This was the first of its kind culture shock that I had experienced. But it made me want to know more.

You know, we are all apart of this earth and some of us have been fortunate enough to have more than others. And that “more than”, includes opportunities. Within hours I felt more grateful to hold an American passport than ever. Also within those hours I realized just how close the U.S and Western Europe were similar. But man, the innocent within the eyes of these kids that I saw was amazing. They were born after the conflict but were constantly reminded by anyone that was over the age of 19, just how hard it was and unfortunately branded into “who this land- Kosovo- belonged to”. These remarkable friendly children were considered as the “NewBorn”.

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Just to be clear here, that is what the kids are told, in no way is it my opinion or would I share the same empathy. In fact, I am purposely omitting a large section of my opinion as well as events due to the subject of this blog. (but it will come later that is for sure)-WorthJourney

What I got from Pristina was a life changer.

The Newborn:
These kids had a heart of gold and were open to everyone. Race? Forget about it. Religion? They had no choice because they were born into tradition. Adversities? They are Newborn and anything that happened before them happened, they recognized it, knew about it, but fear was something that wasn’t apart of their make up.

The bold blocks representing the amazing children of Pristina. The "Newborn".
The bold blocks representing the amazing children of Pristina. The “Newborn”.

Sports:
Because Pristina or Kosovo wasn’t apart of the E.U. nor recognized as a country, then the Federation Boards of Sports such as FIBA or FIFA doesn’t accept them. Why? You as the reader take it upon yourself to find out. As part of our Journey we try to expose the facts. In a region that still have the remains of what happen between Serbia, we feel (WorthJourney), its not our place to express our opinions. The kids and the future suffer the most and this is going to take sometime. That time however may be longer than our patent or copyrights.

One of Kosovo leading Basketball Academies.
One of Kosovo leading Basketball Academies.

Lifestyle and Fashion:
My gosh, the most beautiful women I have ever seen. Everyone was young, there had to be at least 12 women to every man. Funny enough it may have something to do with the war but it’s the facts.

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Prishtina beauty.

Safety:
It was the first place I have been to, in total 72 countries for more than 2 weeks at a time, that people would say “I am here to help you and be careful”. You see I couldn’t understand that as my motto is quite simple; If you walk with respect and respect the traditions anywhere then you should get that back. Without going into to much in this journey- the latter didn’t quite happen.

A curtain view. Photos by: J.Fitts
A curtain view of Prishtina

I asked my editor should I mention anything that would have seemed aggressive or anything that would have made me sleep with one eye open (which I did) and he said- _____ If you do, then you are giving credit to those that will ruin it for the people that you will remember. Besides why doesn’t the rest of the world know other than the reference in the James Blunt song? Has it change? My response was: I remained silent.

You see I was told at a very young age, “If you don’t have anything good to say about anything or people then don’t say anything at all”. I wish I had been forewarned. Maybe this was the reason no one knows about Kosovo, perhaps this was the reasoning that the European Union would never consider making Kosovo part of the E.U. Would it be a rational decision or an irresponsible one based on a one sided story? If the 17 days that I spent in Pristina taught me anything was, there are two sides to every story.

Again, I am not picking a side but there were some things I experienced there that deleted my empathy as well as sympathy for those who cried for help. Maybe the ones that did come to the rescue had little choice as the ones that felt they had to attack the attackers. I suggest the reader look into the origin of the conflicts in Kosovo.

I left with a lot of questions but with little interest in ever returning to Pristina. One of them was; “Why doesn’t anyone in America know about the 25 foot statue of President Clinton in Pristina?” Maybe America doesn’t have the same pride in supposedly helping the people who suffered. Perhaps they had little choice in helping them because someone leaked the situation to the media. (Hint number 2; I suggest the reader look more into conflict)

Bill Clinton Statue Photos by: J.Fitts
Bill Clinton Statue 

Another question I had was; “How can you live in a society that desperately needs modern luxuries such as consistent water and still be productive”

Furthermore it was; It looks as if its modern but underneath there is a thin line of violence and hatred towards anyone that comes from the outside.

“So why do they want to take from the outside, smile in our faces, yet will severe your head if you step on anything that maybe considered theirs?”

Then it was; “Who actually started the conflict in Kosovo, was it the Serbians, was it the Albanians? And wasn’t the conflict here directly after the atrocities in Bosnia?” It started to grow on me what (two sides to every story was), because for the life of me I didn’t understand why those two previously mentioned invitees (Dou and Fio) had deserted me after only two days. I couldn’t understand why when they were amongst their own they were so nervous. Did I mention that I had met them in a remote place in Florida nearly a year from then? Hmm.. amongst our own eh? Pick a fight with a beast then cry for help as if you are the victim. Ok I will stop there because that subject alone could lead to a major dialog that will be a forever ending synerio, as well as my life being threatened. But isn’t respect more important than fear? And why would a certain ethnic group be so proud of being feared yet complain when they are not welcomed or wanted basically anywhere.

Maybe it’s a question of who is really the victim or the original aggressor.

Its strange to me as I sit here in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic writing this, that my experience of Pristina and the fear I experience (for the first time of my life) still had an impact on me. More importantly, how the people there were proud of the fact that someone like myself had that kind of fear towards the city. I was under the assumption that fear and respect are two different things. I came with respect and left with a new found respect of fear.

I have since had a remarkable time since June, yet I wonder mostly during sunsets what the beautiful Newborns future is going to be like. Does anyone care? Does anyone dare to show they care? Does the western power know something we should know? Normally when people are liberated they are also given golden opportunities. Why wasn’t this the case? What is the western world afraid of by giving the Newborns and lets say leftovers a chance? Is it because they had no choice but to liberate them because the world saw photos or some film work of what another group of people felt they had no choice but to make.

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Bikers rally- Pristina, Kosovo

What do I mean by choice?

Lets see. Have you ever seen a person at the zoo, intentionally disturb a sleeping bear then cry for help once the bear is preparing to tear them into treads? Maybe the bear had no choice. That means the person who couldn’t help themselves with disturbing the peace derailed the train of consequences. They took their chances and perhaps they have to suffer the consequences.

In the end I took Dave Mustaines’ words from that remarkable song of Megadeth- “I hocked my brain, packed my bags and headed west!”

It took 1 hr to arrive in perhaps the best kept secret city in the world.. Skopje, Macedonia.. (more details within next months issue)..

I promise the next post wont take so long. Thanks for reading.

JFitts

Facilitating My Patience and Refueling My Fatigue- Greek Experience 2014

Featured Image

When I landed in Rodos, Greece in February 2014 it was really quiet. I had several friends that lived on the island that had more or less begged me to come down to look at all of the business opportunities within the island. Those opportunities mentioned was anything from bars, beach bars, and fabric for clothing to restaurants, all of which would be an investment in the range of 10K- Euros.

I am familiar with Rodos, so I didn’t think it was something that was dodgy or unreal but what I wasn’t aware of was, the lack of common sense associated with business there. Everyone including the guy who is holding the American flag on the moon knows that Greece is suffering financially so I thought- “Why not?” Besides, the people on the island are beautiful, warm and friendly. I have known some for years.

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Flying within Europe to a holiday destinations in the winter takes just as much time as flying from Berlin to Sydney. The flights are limited and more than likely there are layovers. My trip took exactly 27 hours, which is only a mere 10 hours short of driving from Dublin to Rodos- That is excluding the ferries of course. .

Anyone that knows me and some of you do by now, know I am a chancer and getting the job done with real opportunities is my rush. So I thought, “Ok Beau, this year your really going to get a few peoples knickers in a twist and explore the Mediterranean during the winter”. So I took the bait from those individuals that pitched these unbelievable opportunities to me.

First step of opportunities that facilitate impatience:

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I got off the plane in Rodos after zero sleep but I felt as if I had slept the whole day. I was full of energy and I was excited to meet my friend of 5 years. Lets call him “P” (which is short for his first name).

“P” had stayed in touch with me during the year  when I was in either LA LA land, Dublin, Berlin and Miami, Florida. Each time we spoke, it was about these amazing opportunities on the island and the seasons predictions of tourist that are expected to come to the island.  Just like everyone else that were my Facebook friends from Greece, he constantly complained about the world renowned “Greek Crisis”. Some of them went to the extent of asking for a loan during the winter to tie them over and this was back in October. I found it strange since the  season had just finished and there should have been a few settlements from the previous season cash wise. I look at all problems as solvable and I was under the impression that “P” just needs my help and guidance.

So there I was sitting at the deserted airport in my leather jacket and a pair of shades on in Rodos, Greece in February- waiting on “P”. The first 20 minutes went by and I used my Irish cell phone to call him and ask him where was he. I had mailed him my flight schedule in Dublin and we had spoke on Skype for hours upon hours of a plan once I would arrive. So I could not understand why “P” was not at the gate waiting for me. There was not any passport control and the only company I had sitting there was the array of wild cats on the island.

After an hour and a half, I finally got through to “P” and his response was; “ I will be there in 20 minutes.” Again I got the rush for opportunities and overlapped the fatigue from the two days of traveling so I sat there patiently. – Opportunities facilitating patience.

He arrived and drove me around the island, which was completely deserted at this point. He showed me the deserted hotels, café and restaurants that looked as if there were never used. I thought, “finally my luck has changed and this is going to be a remarkable piece for The Worthwhile Journal for our next issue.”

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What I didn’t know was, the establishments that “P” was displaying was active. The owners had just left them as they were when the season ended and would refurbish things when the season drew near. Hmmm something none of us know about in regards to tourist destinations.. at least I didn’t.

Because of “P” age, 29, I thought that the Greek crisis was just the results of old traditions that couldn’t adjust to the modern world as we know it but b****t is b****t in any language or territory. And my sensory glands went on high alert. But as the opportunities created more space to facilitate my patience, I thought; “Maybe I was just being paranoid.”

You see, just like the rest of the world, I love the Greek islands. Its fresh, beautiful and there is a sense of purity. At least for anyone that goes there for a short period of time. This time around my intentions was to go deeper and deeper into what the people really thought of the crisis and what did they expect from the tourist that comes in. Plus I knew if I lived amongst the people of Greece, which I always held in high regards, then I would understand more.

I live in Dublin and I know the complaints around the E.U. in regards to which countries had to suffer because of another countries weakness. But I also knew which countries that didn’t complain about others because of the turn around abilities those countries that suffered would rebound from. I couldn’t understand why, with Greece being such a beautiful place, the people in the E.U had very little confidence in Greece rebounding from the crisis.

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When I was able to put things into perspective (Mid March), I realized the aforementioned. From my experience it is was;

“Show the beauty of the island with a natural false sense of hope, captivate them with a temporary story when you don’t know the language, the customs and the traditions, then suddenly the outsiders are more or less sticking their  hand in their pocket. By then its to late and you are now trying to sleep downing a half bottom of Ouzo! – Did it go that far?? Not quite but my patience at this point was kicking the shit out of my ego.

So I asked “P” after nearly a month of not seeing him; “bro where are you? I knew the only person to blame was myself. But in real time talk; there was still opportunities there to make up for the time wasted to show something to my better half of me being away so long.

I never heard from “P” again while I was on the island. –complete and utter b*ll****er- whatever- bullshitter. Although as an optimist, I am thinking this is an isolated case and I loved the island so lets see what else was around.

"P" bar

The apartment where I stay, overlooks the island and every morning I am looking across at Marimaris, Turkey. So its kind of hard to have a dope place in Rodos, a freezer full of food, a top notch gym, some sort of wireless service and pack up and leave. February and March in Dublin isnt a pleasant one. Its cold and rainy, but its home.

Everything that goes up has to come down at some point and that can include a country. Greece has its growing pains and I thought this was just an isolated case.

When I was invited to go to the island futbol match, I was shocked that there was a stadium on the island. I knew there was a basketball team but I wasn’t aware of the league level of futbol on the island. Naturally, I took to Google in search of where the stadium was and to research information on the team.

This would have been perfect for an article within The Worthwhile Journal and also some entertainment. So when the owner of the complex where I had been staying, invited me to the game and informed me that he was the newly appointed President of the club (Rodos FC), I leaped at the opportunity.

Diagoras

His words were; “ My friend come and see the club play and sure you could help bring us money to the club. We are going to take the Greek league by storm.”

Maybe my patience was starting to pay off when I looked at the Google search engine in complete disbelief.. What no web site?- No Rodos FC web site! But a futbol stadium that seats 3,000 people and there is only two professional teams on the island. Eh? By now my patience was on a channel of the Twilight Zone.

I have to pause here and explain. Rodos is and always will be a special place to me and by no means am I making fun or putting the island down. However, this is 2014 and a professional futbol team whose country is participating in the World Cup it is imperative to have some type of web presence.

Stadium excitement

The irony of it all is, I communicated with the president of this club via Facebook and he had more friends on his Facebook than the Futbol Club and neither were over 500 likes. But still there has to be a website for the club right?

So lets start this thing again. What Greek crisis if they are not panicking to respond to the situation or worse, not open enough to accept an open hand of help?- What Crisis?

I am forever saying “if you know better then you do better”. Well if someone informs you that the world is turning to a different page than you are, then you have to either catch up or do things differently because something is obviously wrong. Common sense would tell you if tourist are coming to the island with money and you want them to spend it, then you have to adjust to whatever is going on the outside. Something has to be wrong.

The Scenario;

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Rodos FC have just been promoted to the second division within their league. But they have zero web presence, very little social media  and do not know about the new brave world that exists outside of this remarkable island. They have a major threat of not selling tickets in a historic stadium that is owned by the island, which also owns the team. In other words FIFA, the governing body of futbol, would not be impressed.

Based on what you have read thus far (no web presence and/or social media structure), it seems as one would most likely agree, that this is a gold mine covered with hundreds of years of traditional volcanic ash. So I put together a structure submitted as a keynote presentation and pdf, as a student-marketing consultant, to help them bring in the main currency in sports- money!

I was thinking the whole time, how could I even think of business in such a beautiful place surrounded by remarkable people- I do love Rodos. But…

The problem identified was branding via the social media as well as a blend with respected traditional media to avoid anyone thinking there was a threat of occupation or invaders. Basically I set up their complete social presence, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr scheduled via Hootsuite. The website was created but stated “Under Construction” and was due to launched months before training camp.

Hootsuite was created to suit their convenience to post updates about the clubs developments, youth progress within the club and most of all selling tickets within their historic stadium.

Because the island is a major tourist destination, with a little over 2 million visitors each summer season, there was also a plan to implement social media traffic for the tourist that would arrive. We all know that the first thing anyone does when they come to paradise is “check-in” via social media sites. They want to show the world that they are there as well as share with those who are curious. The bottom line is instant promotion while utilizing instant gratification methods at its finest.

Empty Seats

But the point is, because I brokered a deal with the islands major Internet and phone network (Vod____e). We made sure that the tourist gets information on the club. That information displayed the team, the promotion of the team, and merchandise as well as the upcoming season schedule. Greece had qualified for the the World Cup so naturally I thought the island would be in full swing of Futbol. So why not make the local team jersey for sale as a souvenir or a rarity of support.

Rodos island has only 50K inhabitants and there are 2 million tourists expected during the season. We don’t have to do much adding and subtracting to recognize the revenue stream potential right? At the end of the day as so-called marketing experts, it’s a common sense deal. Merchandise is the number one finance provider for any sports organization anywhere.  This is all done via the wireless networks, which would be a classic case of a mutually beneficial situation.

In short;

The team would garner revenue based on the teams jerseys sold to tourist that could be put into the team as a revenue stream. More money buys better players and creates employment opportunities for a better structure such as a social media department. Mind you the economy is at a historic worst within the E.U. let alone the world.

The other holes within the rubber tire (wheels) that the marketing department would have to facilitate would be one simple method. It would be utilizing the social media utilities to bring in revenue with the natural resources that persist on this amazing island. Common sense makes money; money doesn’t make common sense-right?

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The patience level again;

The problem started with communicating with the president of the club. I called and called and no one was available. This was after nearly 200 hours of putting together a program, hounding my business partners in the States, making sure a social media plan was in place with LA Editions in Paris, France, and getting top recommendations from lecturers at Full Sail. What could possibly be the problem if there is a crisis and you’re being handed the solution.

At my highest level of enthusiasm I approached the president of the club and said, “Hey, lets omit my fee for (the web site I constructed, the social media patterns and engagement we have created that I was billed for 500 euros, the 2000 photos I have taken as well as a video interview, the graphics for the merchandise jerseys that will bring in instant revenue from the tourist sales) in exchange for rent for a mere 300 euros. Just omit my rent and let’s forget about the cheeseburger and let’s eat a steak!

I got no reply. Weeks went by and no response.

At this point it was easy to get a little paranoid as the summer season was starting and tourist was slowly coming in.

It’s really easy to have the patience in paradise but at the end of the day all good things come to an end. There has to be something in place that would validate the 4 months thus far. I could not believe that the facts were pointed out; with Full Sail approving the Keynote presentation yet there was no reaction.

To be quite frank, I didn’t know what to think. All I heard was give me give me and read how the E.U was late on responding to the Greek crisis. But the funny thing of it is the E.U (balanced by Germany) was extending their patience of loaning the Greek government more money and waiting for a return or a plan of returning the billions of euros that the E.U. had loaned.

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There are always two sides to a story. If my patience had grown thin, I can only imagine what the people of the E.U. were thinking. Then again I was one of them and experiencing some serious aggravation in the process. We are after all paying extra tax to accommodate the paradise islands and country of Greece. Yet the country are doing absolutely nothing to educate those who have little finance to build their economy and stop the take take, please help me system but with no return.

How could you help those who cant help themselves or doesn’t want to.

Was this because they thought the world owes them something because of these beautiful islands? Are they lazy- no. Are they friendly and warming?-Yes without question. Are they honest?- that is up to those who are visiting the cities in Greece and judging for themselves.

Please remember this is my experience and one that have been garnered over a mere 6 to 8 summers. But where is the common sense in not following through with business, when you are sitting around drinking Frepes and not doing anything about your crisis. Common Sense makes make right, money does not make common sense.

Overall I would advise anyone to go and have the Greek experience. My agenda was clear cut from the beginning and I am sure everyone’s experience wouldn’t be the same as mine.

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Departing Rodos at 5 am on a ferry to explore every island within Greece, it was very hard to hide my aggravation. Finally I was tired and fatigue had won the battle.

Next stop Macedonia to Pristina, Kosovo.