Raymond Goldsmith’s accomplishments range from becoming a professional soccer player for the English Premier League’s Chelsea to producing pop videos for major artists. He didn’t expect his passion for filmmaking to lead him into the video game industry, but the Atlanta resident has found success by doing business according to Jewish ethics.
After a knee injury ended his sports career, Goldsmith worked on feature films as a production assistant. He worked his way up until he discovered an opportunity with a video production company and started producing videos alongside Australian director Russell Mulcahy.
Not long after, Goldsmith created a feature documentary showcasing British Olympic gold medalists’ achievements. The project not only made money for sponsor Panasonic, but also caught the attention of the British Olympic Committee.
The organization asked Goldsmith to do some marketing, which included expanding the licensing activities related to the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Goldsmith took the opportunity to introduce video games to the worldwide Olympic movement after he secured a licensing deal with publisher U.S. Gold and its platform partner, Sega.
Goldsmith grew the business from 1992 to 1994, then brought his family to Atlanta for the 1996 Olympics. The Goldsmiths still live here, in addition to maintaining a house in the United Kingdom.
Goldsmith’s company later became the worldwide licensing agency for the Olympics, representing various products, including video games.
He joined the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland and continues to manage the rights to interactive entertainment software.
During the 2016 Rio Olympics, Goldsmith introduced Mario and Sonic from Nintendo, combining the characters from each family, in addition to the intellectual property of Sega and Nintendo, into one sports-based title. In doing so, he worked closely with a design studio and more than 140 developers to create the characters and code for a family-friendly experience.
Goldsmith now serves as the chairman and CEO of International Sports Multimedia, offering entertainment software, fantasy games and digital signage, with offices in Atlanta, Barcelona and London.
Although he does not see one service as being more popular than another, fantasy sports have soared, and ISM has become No. 1 in the world, specializing in events such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and Cricket World Cup.
ISM also formed partnerships with the Union of European Football Associations (soccer’s governing body in Europe), Major League Soccer, the English Premier League and Fox Sports in Australia.
ISM’s next project is the creation of programs for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “Japan is regarded as the home of gaming, so no pressure,” Goldsmith said. “But we are currently focused on creating four mobile and two to three console titles, scheduled for release in two years.”
In the past, Goldsmith worked with a technology developer in Tel Aviv to create the 100-year history of the modern Olympics, “The Centennial.” “It was a great success and was offered through a DVD where consumers could select different Olympics. Israel is very focused on back-end technology, and although they don’t specialize in development studios themselves, they are hugely involved in different support technologies, such as Waze.”
Goldsmith’s family and solid Jewish values have allowed him to create and maintain a successful business he is thankful for. “I am often challenged by a lot of people who don’t necessarily possess ethics, and I’ve found those opportunities unattractive. I am happy with the success ISM has had and attribute it to preserving strong morals.”