FSF holds annual Summit at One Ocean Resort in Jacksonville
The 2018 FSF Industry Partners Summit brings together representatives from Florida’s 27 sports commissions and sports events rights holders from around the country.
Twenty-three presenters from a variety of sports will share their information with Florida’s finest sports tourism promoters throughout the day on Tuesday, May 22 at the One Ocean Resort.
Day One Highlights – Monday, May 21
As representatives of the state’s 27 sports commissions introduced themselves to begin the meeting, they relived their previous experiences with memories of past summits and the number of times each had attended. With the State of Florida hosting over 3,000 sports events annually, their answers showed the variety of sports and events that produce a $57.4 billion economic impact annually for the Sunshine State.
Once the Sports Commission meeting concluded, commission meeting members participated in a Grant Workshop that walked members through FSF’s new, cutting edge online grant application system.
Following the Grant Workshop all Summit attendees where shuttled to The Players Championship (TPC) Sawgrass golf course where the President’s Reception and Dinner was held on the hollowed grounds at the course’s clubhouse. Prior to dinner, a cocktail hour was held where attendees were given an up-close, personal tour of TPC’s historic 16th, 17th, and 18th holes.
During the dinner, FSF’s current President and CEO Angela Suggs announced that moving forward, the annual “President’s Reception and Dinner” would be known as the “Larry Pendleton Reception and Dinner”. She also revealed the location of the 2019 FSF Summit: the Sheraton Bay Point Resort in Panama City Beach.
Day Two Highlights – Tuesday, May 22
FSF awards Florida Sports Commissions for their efforts throughout the year.
The Florida Sports Foundation (FSF), the state’s leading sports promotion and development organization, presented five awards to recognize Florida communities and sports commissions for their outstanding efforts in sports tourism in the State of Florida. The events were awarded or held between April 16, 2017 to May 1, 2018.
The awards were presented at the FSF’s annual Sports Summit, held this year in Jupiter, held in conjunction with the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. The awards presented included:
- Best Awarded Event of the Year: National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Golf Championships, Palm Beach County Sports Commission
- Large Market Event of the Year: NHL All-Star Weekend, Tampa Bay Sports Commission (Jan. 26-28, 2018)
- Mid-Market Event of the Year: 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota County Sports Commission (held Sept. 23-Oct. 1, 2017)
- Small Market Event of the Year: Ocala Jockey Club International, Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau (held Nov. 15-18, 2017)
- Small Market Venue of the Year: Rotary SportPlex of Marion County, Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau
Suggs also introduced the inaugural Larry Pendleton Award, named in honor the Foundation’s founding president. The first recipient of the award went to Rob Higgins, the Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.
Tuesday was capped off by a social outing at Topgolf Jacksonville. Members from the various commissions, presenters, and rights holders were in attendance, testing their skill and stroke.
Select quotes and facts from 23 presenters on Tuesday, May 22
“We a major player in small college athletics that compete with character, professionalism, and at a high level of skill.” Mike Higgins, Director of Championships, NAIA
“Without our volunteers, communities, and amazing facilities throughout the state, our championships would not be the same. Florida raises the bar to the next level!” Will Adams, Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA)
“We are very excited to have softball back in the Olympics beginning in 2020 and without the amazing efforts by commissions and participants throughout the country, we would not have this opportunity.” Carlton Benton, USA Softball of Florida
“Each day, take the time to hand write a note to someone inside your industry just to say thank you. It doesn’t matter how big or small the ‘thank you’ is for, just take a moment to do it. Your relationship with the recipient with drastically change for the good!” Jon Schmieder, Huddle Up Group
“Florida is one of the leaders and direct benefactors of the power of sports and the effect it has on the world.” Florence Nalepka, Travel, Events, And Management in Sports (TEAMS)
To view a complete gallery from the 2018 Summit, click here.