Back in 2019 when Business Barbados first featured the two dynamic Barbadian entrepreneurs, Kodi Lewis and Alex Weetch, they shared a compelling vision to carve out a new niche for themselves by bringing together sport, business and lifestyle under one umbrella. Driven by a strong passion and belief in the power of sports to help people evolve and grow, their fundamental strategy was to leverage the natural lure of the Caribbean, while innovatively capturing market share from the sports holiday and events markets.
By a relatively young age, Kodi had already established himself as a veteran in sports luxury events, having founded his historic ‘Tennis Pon de Rock’, which attracted Venus and Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, Gaël Monfils and John Isner. With part of the proceeds going to help support the Barbados Tennis Association and promising Barbadian tennis athletes, it marked the beginning of a mission to champion the growth of regional sport.
When CEO and Experience Designer Kodi founded Dakota Ross, later to be joined by Chief Strategy Officer Alex, and Strategic Business Coach Luis Fuentes, the team made optimum use of their first-hand local knowledge to provide clients with unique, authentic experiences infused with sport and exclusive access to the luxuries of the Caribbean. As the company prospered, even managing to thrive during the Covid pandemic, new breakthrough opportunities started appearing on the horizon.
Fast forward to January 2023 and Dakota Ross has just launched a strategic partnership with UK-based Right Formula, the largest independent Sports Marketing Agency in Europe, representing numerous global brands such as Jack Daniels, SAP, ExxonMobil, Pirelli, Hilton Hotels, Vodafone, Bang & Olufsen, IWC and Kia Motors to name a few. Right Formula also works alongside several of the world’s governing bodies in sport and major sporting rights holders, including F1, Formula E, FiA, UEFA, DP World Tour, WSL, Barcelona FC, Sail GP, World Sailing, Moto GP, Arsenal FC, NBA, R&A (The Open), WTA, America’s Cup, Olympics, Rugby World Cup, FIFA, NASCAR, plus numerous F1 and Formula E teams.
The new venture, Right Formula Caribbean, will work with the world’s biggest sports and brands, providing them with access to approximately 100 experts in the sports and entertainment industry. Focussing on delivering this through a combined data-driven methodology with a human-centric approach.
Right Formula Caribbean will focus on:
Strategy - Creating clear and structured pathways to help clients deliver their brand systematically, establishing deeper and more impactful relationships with their target audiences backed up by robust data.
Activation - providing impactful Brand and Marketing programmes that strategically align with their clients’ broader business goals, ensuring Sport and Entertainment marketing investment drives business performance.
Commercial - working with the very best brands and rights holders, connecting them with the top properties worldwide in order to drive their revenue.
Special Events - tailored sports events and experiences designed to make a difference through the two main pillars of sustainability and human development.
The aim is to establish Barbados as a preferred destination for Team and Individual Development Experiences, thereby attracting international sports, athletes and sponsors to the island. This in turn will provide local companies and athletes with access to the international sports arena through strategic consultation.
“Robin Fenwick launched Right Formula in 2009 and quickly grew the company into a world leader in our sector. By chance, he happened to be in Barbados with his family right at the start of the first Covid-19 lockdown. It was a strange time on the island for everybody, but especially visiting non- Barbadians. A mutual colleague, Scott Over at World Sailing, reached out and suggested that Robin and I connect, so that I could offer him some local support. The outcome was that we met up quite regularly during permissible hours, such as early morning exercise walks on the beach. This soon led to us discovering we both had a real passion for sports, shared a lot of similar values, and felt strongly about the importance of having a clear path and purpose. My heart has always been connected to sport, but I also have a deep connection to the world of therapy. My mother, Jacqui Lewis, is an Experiential Therapist and, through her and her colleagues, therapy has played a fundamental role in my life path, first as an athlete and now as a business owner. Like me, Alex, Robin and Lou are all great believers in the power of sports. Whenever we work with clients, we always bring the emotional, mental and physical benefits that come with combining the approaches of systemic thinking, experiential therapy and sports into our process. For me personally, as an athlete, an entrepreneur and a Bajan, the creation of Right Formula Caribbean is like fulfilling a lifelong dream.”
“One of our main competitive advantages is that we have a small core team who are all very strong on our purpose. We apply the same core humancentric approach we use to continuously develop our own company to our clients. We believe that if you want your brand to connect with individuals at a human level, you have to think of a brand holistically as a human, made up of the combined characteristics, passion and purpose of its individual team members. By unlocking the internal potential of the team, we help brands better connect externally with their target audiences. Right now Barbados has a real opportunity to become the Caribbean hub for sports hospitality and events, and we are delighted to be at the forefront of that development. It’s not been an easy road to get here, far from, but we’ve kept on believing in ourselves and never lost sight of our end goals. We’d like to think that our story could be an inspiration to other aspiring entrepreneurs in Barbados and the Caribbean.”
“The Dakota Ross team brings a different approach that will allow Right Formula to expand our offering geographically and through new capabilities. One of my principal goals is to help bring world-class sports events to Barbados and allow new audiences to not only understand but see the magic that exists on this island. Through this strategic partnership, we have the right ingredients to provide new meaningful experiences to a wide group of individuals and businesses alike, so I’m personally very excited about what the future holds. We’ve all seen a lot of change over the past couple of years, but now we are reprioritising what’s important to us. If there was ever a moment for our combined forces to help you to follow your passion to grow personally and professionally, that time is now.”