Former Miss Belize National Director speaks on decision to no longer be part of Miss Universe
Yesterday, Romeo Escobar announced that the Miss Universe Belize Organization would no longer be part of the Miss Universe franchise. One of the primary reasons for this is the drastic changes the new owner of Miss Universe, JKN Global Group, has implemented to award franchises. He said quote “With that comes many changes and new implementations of how their business model works, this includes bidding for our franchises as directors. This does not align with the way I conduct business and believe it is not a sustainable way to keep a partnership long term with its directors” End quote. We spoke with Escobar today about the decision.
Romeo Escobar, Former National Director, Miss Universe Belize: “Miss Universe was bought this year by a new company based in Thailand called JKN and their new business model essentially is to have us directors bid for our franchises no matter if we’ve had the franchise in our countries for a year, five years, ten years, twenty years, we were all to bid for a chance to keep our franchises and to me quite frankly knowing the difficulty of making this work especially getting the financial backing to support an important event like this takes more than a year so if we’re talking about a bidding process a yearly bidding process it does not allow an organization to successfully plan, to successfully gather enough sponsors to pay the franchise fee which is thousands of US dollars to come up with a real plan. So it makes it difficult in a business model in a business perspective to be successful and hopefully they will learn from this and take a step back and realize that it’s not sustainable. It’s not a sustainable way of running a business to every year be bidding for your franchises. I found it quite frankly I found it a bit disrespectful and that’s why I made the difficult decision of pulling out from the franchise.”
It appears Escobar is not the only one who has raised concerns with this new model. So we asked him if he would reconsider if the rules were changed. Here’s what he had to say.
Romeo Escobar, Former National Director, Miss Universe Belize: “As a matter of fact I know that I’m not the only director that feels that way. I’m in constant communication with directors from all around the world and we all are in agreeance that this is not the right way to do it and there might be some changes. I don’t know if there will be or when there will be but as far as for my personal journey I will not be coming back as director but having said that whoever takes on the franchise next for Belize I am more than willing to offer my assistance, offer my guidance, my expertise because I still care and I think that it’s important to have Belize on that Miss Universe stage because Miss Universe is watched by one billion persons around the world every year, it’s a big platform for our tourism, it’s a big platform for young women to encourage them in whatever fields they want to go to give them confidence, prepare them for different fields that they want to go into after their reign so I think it’s important so I can say that whoever takes on the franchise has my full support and I’m here to offer my guidance and my assistance in any way possible.”
As we pointed out yesterday, the current Miss Belize Ashley Lightburn continues her reign until August 2023. Her contract and all our deals with sponsors will continue to be fulfilled for the remainder of the year. Still no word yet on whether Belize will send a contestant to Miss Universe 2023, which takes place in December in El Salvador