St.Maarten prepares for Tempo Turns 7

POSTED: 09/25/12 12:27 PM

St. Maarten – For seven days and seven nights, St.Maarten will play host to pan Caribbean media and entertainment company Tempo Networks for the station’s seventh anniversary celebrations; Tempo Turns 7. The highly anticipated affair will cost the government $400,000 which is expected to translate into increased marketing of the island as a premier tourist destination regionally and internationally. Tempo Turns 7 will be held from November 25 to December 1 with all of the major activities centrally located at the St.Maarten Festival Village.

The unique partnership comes at a time when the island is attempting to redeem its image in the North American market in particular, owing to two high profile homicides that are said to have hurt the country’s one pillar economy.

“It will encompass the entire community. We are entering a partnership, so it is anticipated that we will receive in excess of $450,000.00 in return. We’ll get our money’s worth,” Minister of Tourism Romeo Pantophlet said of the event.

At a press conference held yesterday at the Government Administration Building, both Pantophlet and Tempo as well as major sponsors, Telem Group of Companies and the Harbour Group of Companies emphasized that the Tempo Turns 7 will be more than just a party.

The benefits are well documented by professor Dr. Simon Hendrickson of the University of the Virgin Islands who measured the impact of a two day event hosted by Tempo in the USVI. “It impacts GDP and brings an energy that translates into economic value,” Chief Executive Officer of Tempo Networks, Fredrick Morton Jr. said.

A lawyer by profession, Morton Jr. made a case for Tempo’s relevance in St.Maarten. He said that the network stands for more than just media and entertainment but is a vehicle for pan-Caribbean cultural movement.

“I believe in the power of the Caribbean. We are at significant point in our history, it is a rightful place to be at the top.

The number 7 is symbolic for the Morton Jr. who explained that St.Maarten was blessed to have been chosen as the country to celebrate such an important anniversary. He revealed that it was parliamentarian Romain Laville who convinced him to bring the event here, St.Maarten “has all the vibes.”

Since he has been on the island for the past week, Morton Jr. reported that the network has received tremendous support from the Christian leaders, the minister of education and the corporate community.

Pointing to the network’s country representative Peter Gittens who has done most of the ground work, Morton Jr. said that Gittens is an example of the “home grown talent” that Tempo utilizes in its productions.

Gittens said that the social aspect of Tempo will touch communities all over the island. The network’s a popular music video show, Cross Caribbean Countdown, will also be produced in St.Maarten from now until December.

“We are utilizing local sound systems, local camera crews,” Gittens said, adding that he looks forward to Tempo St.Maarten being launched soon.

As of October 1, $2.5 million dollars’ worth of advertising on St.Maarten will aired on Cable Vision. This translates to 600 ads per day where a family of four will win an all-expenses paid trip to St.Maarten at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort for Tempo Turns 7.

On Sunday November 25, Tempo Turns 7 will kick off with praise and worship session with local ministers will give sermons. On November 26 and November 27 a Badness Outta Style School Tour will take place.  The activities for Wednesday November 28 are still to be determined but on November 29 all activities will be held in honor of the elderly. Friday November 30 and Saturday December 1 will see regional and international concerts being held with artistes still to be announced. Morton Jr. said that he is still trying to convince international soca artiste Machel Montano to join the lineup after Montano swore he would not return to St.Maarten a few years ago following a run in with the law.

The Harbour Group of Companies injected $25,000.00 via wire transfer to the event while Telem donated $20,000.00.  Both Brian Mingo of Telem and Hector Peters of the Harbour Group of Companies anticipate that the investment will be worth it.

Tempo says it is bringing more than one million dollars’ worth in advertising alone to the project. But the actual production typically costs $750,000.00.

“These productions are not easy to put on from the production work to the talent fees. That is why it is important that the entire community come together. Governments work together to bring the exposure and build a budget to push the product forward,” Morton Jr. noted.

Advisor to the Tourism Minister, Valya Pantophet gave insight into the partnership between Tempo Networks and the Government of St.Maarten.

“In this partnership there is profit sharing fifty-fifty on the concerts and the different events so if there is an entrance fee then we’ll split it for the international events. However for any local event it will be split eighty-twenty.”

Tempo Turns 7 will also see the unveiling of the network’s 7 principles to live by including unity, physical health and spirituality.

Tempo currently broadcasts in 24 Caribbean islands, with approximately 3 million viewers, and in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut on Cablevision Channel 1105.

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