Tampa, FL – (November 4, 2019) – The Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee, in conjunction with the National Football League (NFL), announced the official launch of the Super Bowl LV Business Connect program, Wednesday morning from the East Club of Raymond James Stadium.
The Business Connect program works to create opportunities for experienced, qualified and certified business owners from local, diverse communities to compete for contracting opportunities related to Super Bowl. Additionally, the program offers mentoring, networking, educational and business development opportunities to encourage greater business success for each participant.
“The Super Bowl LV Business Connect program is designed to leave a lasting impact and legacy in our community,” said Claire Lessinger, Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee COO. “We look forward to working in tandem with the NFL in helping provide an incredible professional development experience and opportunity to our local diverse businesses.”
“The Business Connect program plays an important role in embedding the local, diverse business community into the heart of the Super Bowl,” said Peter O’Reilly, NFL Executive Vice President, Club Business and League Events “The contract and networking opportunities created through the program will hopefully have a meaningful impact on the capacity of the local diverse businesses of Tampa Bay well beyond the Super Bowl in 2021.”
B.J. Waymer who leads the NFL Business Connect initiative agrees, “The Super Bowl LV Business Connect program will offer women, minority, LGBT and veteran-owned businesses access to larger, more substantive contracts with Super Bowl,” she said “And, equally as important to us are the series of eight business development and networking opportunities the program offers. We’re focused on growing the capacity of member companies and helping owners build a toolkit they can use to compete more effectively for corporate and large event contracts in their home market beyond Super Bowl.”
Tapping into the diverse Tampa Bay business landscape, the Business Connect program will aim to amplify over 250+ event-ready businesses in the 30 business lines most frequently requested by NFL contractors to work with Super Bowl event producers.
These businesses will be designated ‘approved’ vendors and will be added to the NFL Super Bowl Business Connect Resource Guide of certified businesses ready to compete for contracting opportunities.
Leading the Tampa Bay Super Bowl Business Connect efforts will be LaKendria Robinson as she was recently announced as the Director, Business Connect & Community Outreach to the Super Bowl LV Host Committee. In this role, Robinson will be responsible for identifying and connecting Tampa Bay’s diverse business landscape to contracting opportunities for Super Bowl LV.
Previously, Robinson served as the first Director of Minority Business Accelerator & Economic Inclusion for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, where she spearheaded the Minority Business Accelerator to help minority-owned businesses grow and thrive in Tampa Bay. She was recently awarded the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives 2019 Forty Under 40 award for her meaningful involvement in the advancement of the Tampa Bay community and proven professional success in the chamber industry.
“I am thrilled to be leading the Business Connect program,” said LaKendria Robinson, Director, Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Business Connect and Community Outreach. “Business Connect is an incredible opportunity for diverse businesses in Tampa Bay to directly compete for contracts related to Super Bowl LV and, more importantly, gain access to resources they can use to grow their business. As participants, business owners will be able to leverage their experience with the Super Bowl to compete for high-value contracts in the local market.”
Joining Robinson will be Bemetra Simmons as the Chair of the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Business Connect Advisory Board.
Simmons, who currently serves as the Managing Director, Florida at Mutual of Omaha, is active in the community serving on the board of trustees for Christian Brothers University, Community Tampa Bay and The City of Tampa’s Police Review Board. A 2013 Leadership Tampa graduate, Simmons was named an Up and Comer by the Tampa Bay Business Journal in 2013, and a finalist for Businesswoman of the Year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal in 2017. Most recently, Simmons served on the NCAA Women’s Final Four Advisory Committee.
“I am honored to Chair the Business Connect Advisory Board for Super Bowl LV,” said Bemetra Simmons, Chair, Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Business Connect Advisory Board. “Business Connect is an important initiative that gives Tampa leaders like myself the opportunity to highlight what an amazing region Tampa Bay is and showcase one of our most valuable assets, our local diverse businesses.”
The press conference also announced the launch of TampaBayLV.com/BusinessConnect, the official landing page for all Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Business Connect related items including eligibility, applications, certifications, rules and more.
The Tampa Bay area will host its fifth Super Bowl in 2021, previously hosting in 1984, 1991, 2001 and 2009.
Additional community initiatives, as well as fan and ancillary event information, will be announced at a later date at TampaBayLV.com. Follow the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee on social media, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, at @TampaBayLV.