Major TV company proposed for Cayman

World Championship events planned

Cayman could be the new base for an international television company.

Iceman Production, which provides sports marketing services and television programmes to nearly 50 countries, is planning to locate here, said Roger Piggot, chief executive officer, producer and director.

“The opportunities are enormous,” he said. “What I love is the culture; it’s safe, laid back.”

Originally the operation was mooted to move to the US Virgin Islands.

“They are [not happy] but I have made the decision as the CEO to say, I am flying in, I have five days and a full agenda of meetings and presentations [with the Cayman Islands Government and other stakeholders].

“We are going to come in, bring our world-class editing and production facilities into Cayman,” he said. “The Cayman Islands will be recognised in the global sports market for broadcast as a supplier of international programming.”

Iceman – an acronym for International Corporate Event Marketing and Advertising Network – specialises in ready-to-air offshore powerboat racing, international long-drive golf and high-impact motorsports programming.

The company creates television programmes based on either offshore racing or the long-drive golf championships, a sport that Iceman owns the right to. The programmes also showcase the destination and the shows are then sold worldwide in various languages.

“In the event we roll in [to Cayman], which I feel we are, we will bring the world championships in long drive to the Island, 2011. That is a guarantee…,” he said. “It would be the first-ever world championships executed for long-drive golf with attendance of 14 countries with Team Caymans playing host.

Also, he said, there is “the creation of a major offshore race tied to the Caribbean championship finals. Both events receive international exposure valued at $25 million in two languages – English and Spanish – with broadcast reaching 350 million households globally per episode airing. All of our programming includes promotion of World Orphans Day and we draw a ton of celebrity support from the Stars Foundation, which would work perfectly on the Island.”

International marketing

Mr. Piggot attended the recent Million Dollar Run, which he said showcased the calm waters and alerted him to the potential of the Cayman Islands as a location.

“It was the way the cards fell. When I was in Cayman I met the Premier at the kickoff party, had a real nice chit-chat,” he said. “He’s a pretty direct guy and asked me, ‘How come you’ve never filmed in the Cayman Islands?’

“I said, ‘Buddy, walk a mile in my shoes and try to deal with your screwed-up tourism board – how do you like that answer?’ and it just blew him away. That is why I am [filming] in Trinidad, in Jamaica, in Cuba – those guys know what international marketing is all about.”

The marketer and producer also met Cayman’s racing fraternity, who knew a great deal about Iceman and their television series, plus other influential individuals who explained what was available financially in Cayman compared to the US Virgin Islands.

“More than that is looking at the local film industry,” he said. “I hate coming into a market and rocking the boat. That’s not the way we work. When I look at the Cayman Islands, as an export product there is no international television programming coming out of your country. So when I show up and just edit my shows, assemble the raw footage we collect, I can build my series in your basement and it’s suddenly an export commodity for the Cayman Islands.

“It’s one of those products that those blue chip companies like: media. I am on prime time,” he said.

Economic impact

Mr. Piggot explained that after the Million Dollar Run he received emails from world-famous race teams all expressing an interest in his thoughts on that event. High-performance water races can have a huge effect on the economy, he said.

“When you look at the money those boats bring in and the economic impact [of a world-class race event to be developed] it is impressive. As a producer of our programming, I retain 50 per cent of all media in every one of my shows, which is what I spin off into my base sponsors. That’s what tourism would get; they would be part of that 50 per cent.

Mr. Piggot said he is results-driven, with a track record, and not looking for any handouts.

“The bottom line is media,” he said.

“Everyone gets a piece of the pie and those are always good events because everyone is realising an economic benefit from being showcased on worldwide TV.”

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9 COMMENTS

  1. This is another great opportunity for Cayman, let’s see what all the haters and opposition will have to say about this idea. I’m sure it will be down with those foreigners, Cayman needs to have its own Cayman owned production Company. Fisherman and local TV networks will protest against allowing him to bring his business here saying it’s doing nothing for the Caymanian people and will only create jobs for expats. They will say that it’s just Bush and his Cronies trying to rape the island. All this while offering no alternatives to bring in revenue for the Island.

    Think people, and for a change please start to support and embrace people that are willing to invest their own hard earned cash into projects that will help make Cayman the business Mecca and favored destination it used to be.

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  2. Great comment NJ2Cay, Investing is a long term exercise of both people and money. The only problem is that the company is going to have to pack up and leave in 7 years and take any value or equity with them.

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  3. I commend the media for a well written artical.

    For the records, 350,000,000 million television viewers translates into US30,000,000 in traditional advertising media values persuant to syndicated broadcast in 46 countries.

    I really loved the business climate and the Caymanian hospitality I received within your country.

    Every long journey starts with the first step such as the proposed development of the Cayman Media Centre which could ultimately represent a preeminent global media centre for the Americas. Global television production stemming from your country can only benefit the country and what it offers the world in a vary cost efficient means.

    All of our programming has been produced exclusively within the Caribbean for the past decade and being a regular visitor in several markets, I see longetivity in showcasing the island on the ‘World Stage’.

    Local business, island tourism, hotels resorts, restaurants and numerous spin off industries would all benefit allowing the consumer to make the ultimate decision at the point of purchase.

    Showcasing the Caymans within prime-time – Regularly Scheduled Television programming as an international holiday destination hotspot, eco cultral tourism, business conference and definately as a water sports and entertainment capital of the Americas is a good thing. The benefits to the business sector would far surpass the countries tourism budget for related economic promotion.

    Todays travel consumers look for diversification, value and flexibility all of which your country offers. I personally experienced the safety conditions of the island in comparison of many others and feel it’s a top criteria for choosing this location.

    The progressive business environment coupled with creativity and our dynamic media professionals with a proven track record with the blue chip corporate sector will generate an immediate measurable return to the islands economy.

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  4. @ NJ2Cay – Interestingly, the haters of government have remained silent already! Even CNS (Cayman News Service) has not posted an article about this project that will help Cayman’s economy.

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