It's not surprising that Oliver McIntosh, President and Chief Executive Officer of SportsMax Limited, is a sports fanatic but to close friends, he's an 'introvertist socialite'. As much as he loves to lime, he is very private and prefers the quiet of home. "I enjoy being around good company, but I enjoy being home more, watching a sporting event or reading a good book," said McIntosh.
The idea for SportsMax was born in 2002 during a football match in London with a friend from Jamaica (one of the founding members and a shareholder of the company). They discussed the idea of having their favourite international events broadcast in Jamaica, allowing them to enjoy it from the comfort of their home. "The concept was to acquire sports content that could be sold to broadcasters in Jamaica," he stated.
He left his job as an investment banker and vice president with Merrill Lynch in London and returned to Jamaica to manage the company. Eventually they had more content than broadcasters to supply, so they decided to start a sports channel. It was a novel idea for which the sports-hungry region was clamouring and SportsMax took off like a rocket. Today, the subscription-only channel broadcasts in 23 Caribbean countries and employs more than 60 persons.
SportsMax, whose parent company, International Media Content Limited, is based in St. Lucia, launched a second channel, CEEN, in the USA in 2011 and will launch in Canada by year-end. "The naysayers at the start thought Jamaica, or the Caribbean, was not ready for SportsMax" McIntosh said, "in light of the many pirated signals broadcasting sports events, plus persons weren't necessarily in the habit of paying for it. Offering good, live content that people would buy, we knew our business model would work. We looked into its future possibilities, as well as worldwide trends. We knew that if we did our job right, people would respond, and they did, hence the tremendous growth of the brand."
Playing their part in the promotion of sports, the athletes, as well as the development of media and the creation of jobs (including over 100 jobs created for the Olympics), McIntosh has concluded that there is tremendous talent in this region in sports and other areas.