Jamaica… a small island paradise of 2.8 million souls erupted this August as they watched their athletes dash to Olympic glory! National pride and a new-found interest in China complemented the birth of megastar Usain Bolt, who single-handedly returned sprinting to its Glory Days.
Jamaica’s track & field success fueled a frenzy of celebrations, all of which were organized by Jamaican American, Andrew Ballen, owner of Ballenwest Events Media.
Andrew Ballen aka Getaway host and Media Persona ‘Da Long’, is CEO and Founder of Ballenwest Events/Media. Ballenwest was engaged by PUMA and the Gov’t of Jamaica to conduct a series of banner Jamaican themed concerts, galas and press-conferences to showcase Usain Bolt and his proud Island nation to Beijing and the entire world. As China’s only Jamaican-Owned Event Branding concern Ballenwest and Andrew were uniquely situated to take the promotional helm of Jamaica’s historic moment. Planning for the month long celebration began in February, at a time when all Jamaicans were hoping there would indeed be something worth celebrating come August. All went according to plan. The Summer long event series sponsored by PUMA, Jamaica’s sports-lifestyle sponsor entitled “Beijing Jian”, (“See You in Beijing”) lived up to its promise. Surely in the month of August, Jamaica and Usain Bolt were seen in Beijing! Three Gold Medals and three world records provided ample excuse to party til dawn.
The high-power series of events featured live acts such as Jamaica lover and European superstar Paolo Nutini, Chinese-Jamaican pop-star Tessanne, and a ground-breaking Reggae concert (at Starlive) by Julian Marley, son of the legendary Reggae Icon Bob Marley.
Always mindful of the goal of a harmonious Olympics, Ballenwest worked with the support and guidance of the Chinese Ministry of Culture and the extensive network of contacts and relationships from Andrew Ballen’s seven years in the entertainment industry. The PUMA ‘Beijing Jian’ celebrations were some of the only events apart from the official opening & closing ceremony where the public could view top Western acts during the Olympic period.
Andrew explains “Jamaicans, would not be content with the run-of-the-mill Champagne & Model events”, so he enlisted the talents of China’s Champion dance crew Caster Dance turntable maestro DJ Wordy and Beijing’s premiere live Reggae band ‘Beijing Live Experience’. The 6 event finale ended up becoming an all night reggae and dancehall extravaganza where Usain Bolt himself received a BMW M3 and said “Big Up to Ballenwest for hosting a wicked party” promising to return to China for more. Bolt was so into the party vibe that he decided to grab the microphone, host and DJ the party himself!