FSF Partner NEWSLETTER October 2020

"The State of Florida continues to thrive as we enter Phase 3. Sporting events and competitions are continuing to make an active return to the field, diamond, court, and pitch, and we are excited for these opportunities to compete and their future. Your resilience and determination to host events is evident in the volume of grant applications the Foundation received in the previous grants cycle. Florida remains strong and at the center of the sporting industry through your efforts. To date, a nation-leading FOUR professional teams based in Florida have made their respective sport's championship series, finals, or match, with one, the Tampa Bay Lightning, being crowned as its league's champion. This accomplish has placed the Sunshine State front-and-center as the pride of the sporting universe. Continue the great work and know that our staff here at the Foundation is available and ready to serve you."
Director of Sports Development


In the October 2020 edition of the Florida Sports Foundation's monthly Partnership Newsletter, we will highlight:

  • FSF Roundtable Discussion - Guest Speaker: Brandon Little
  • Sports Trade Shows & Conferences
  • Partner & Rights Holder Spotlights
  • Event Spotlight: FSU Cross Country Invitational
  • Amateur Sports Update (FSG & SSG)
  • Professional Sports Specialty Plates

Industry Partner Virtual Roundtable

Mark your calendars!

Thursday, October 28, 2020

Time: 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. ET

Featuring Guest Speaker:


The franchise's second-ever Stanley Cup was secured with a convincing 2-0 victory over the Dallas Stars in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.


If you plan on attending any of these shows or conferences listed below or would like to receive information on how to get involved with any of these events, please connect with Liese Abili or Demetrius Burse of the Florida Sports Foundation staff. Doing so will assist in synchronizing our efforts to assist with these opportunities together.


  • TEAMS 20 – October 2020 (Virtual)


  • Smart Cities – October 2020 (Lausanne)
  • Leaders Week – October 2020 (London)
  • SPORTEL Sports, Media, Tech – October 2020 (Monaco)
  • Host City – December 2020 (Glasgow)

If your staff has any plans on attending or would like to receive information on how to get involved with any of these events, please connect with our staff so we can synchronize our efforts and assist with these opportunities together.


Caribe International DMC

Karina Vaguez, CEO | karina@caribeidms.com | Phone: 786-325-8047

Carlos Valdes, VP Operations | carlos@caribeidms.com | Phone: 786-731-6469

Our team is highly versed in all things Florida. We combine decades of connections, knowledge, and creativity to curate authentic local experiences. It is our goal to make your vision come to life while minimizing stress, so that you can focus your energy on the attendee experience. We custom create each event from concept to completion. From the conceptual design, to hidden venues, the best local gems, restaurants and tours, we produce perfect meetings and events all over Florida. We specialize in becoming your personal liaison to bridge the distance between you and all your event needs

Carlos and Karina met over 20 years ago, worked together for 6 years, after which they developed their individual careers: Carlos as an International Destination Manager producing events in wonderful venues internationally such as Mexico City, Frankfurt, Senegal, Prague and Panama; including logistics, transportation, event planning and production. Karina as a business incubator and financial consultant in different industries such as fine art, beauty and meeting planning industry.

Now together again, they have created a powerhouse of experience, knowledge and a strong network that provides a unique platform of efficient and cost-effective personalized solutions to corporate meeting and event planners from all over the world.


Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

Mike Sophia | Vice President, Sports Business Development, msophia@broward.org

From 23 miles of golden beaches to the natural beauty of the Florida Everglades…from the ice to the pitch…and everything in between! Greater Fort Lauderdale offers as wide an array of sports and entertainment possibilities as any destination in the country. Our newly expanded and renovated Broward County Convention Center (opening in summer 2021) will offer 350,000 square feet of sports opportunities in the exhibit hall, the newly constructed InterMiami CF Stadium is a 19,000-seat state of the art stadium, and a brand new Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center/International Swimming Hall of Fame add to an impressive list of sports venues throughout the County.

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Sports and Entertainment team is ready to work with a wide variety of event owners to ensure that any event of any size celebrates big-time success here in Broward County. Let us help find the ideal venues, lock in great rates at hotels suited to all tastes and budgets, and dial-in all of the other details to exceed the expectations of any group. We want to provide the biggest stage for your event to go along with an ideal tropical setting!


FSU Cross Country Invitational: October 2-3, 2020

Amanda Heidecker | Senior Sales and Sports Director, HeideckerA@leoncountyfl.gov

On October 2 and 3, 2020, Apalachee Regional Park (ARP) hosted its first weekend of cross country races during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Florida State University Cross Country Invitational/Pre-State Meet was held at ARP for the ninth consecutive year. College athletes from around the country raced on Friday followed by Florida high school athletes and one open race (different ages, both women and men) competed on Saturday. Nearly every aspect of the event was modified to follow CDC and FDOH guidelines in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

As anticipated, this year’s two-day event attracted fewer runners and spectators than previous years. While the number of college teams and runners on Friday was consistent with prior years, spectators were prohibited on Friday under the Atlantic Coast Conference protocols. The college races drew approximately 750 spectators in 2019. There was a significant decline in high school runners and spectators for the second day of races in 2020. There were approximately 500 runners and 450 spectators at ARP on Saturday, October 3rd, down from 3,000 runners with over 5,000 spectators in 2019.

Unlike in past years, there was no “event atmosphere” as all potential “congregation” locations were eliminated and/or replaced with alternative service delivery methods. This year the event was completely reformatted for the health and safety of everyone involved from athletes, coaches, trainers, parents/spectators, volunteers, event operations staff, and vendors. The 2020 event was designed for the athletes to arrive, safely run their race, and then depart while still having a quality experience.

Based on positive feedback from athletes, coaches, trainers, parents/spectators, volunteers, and vendors, the newly formatted event implementing extensive health and safety measures to protect everyone was a resounding success, albeit with a very different approach and atmosphere than past events. Picture-perfect weather also helped put an exclamation point on the experience for both residents and visitors.



The 2020 Sunshine State Games (SSG) schedule has the following upcoming events:

  • October 31: USPSA (Volusia Hunt & Gun Club, New Smyrna Beach)
  • November 1: Precision Pistol (Wyoming Antelope Club, Clearwater)
  • November 7-8: Lacrosse (South County Park, Vero Beach)

For the latest updates on these events or for more information about the Sunshine State Games, click here.

Click here to register for the 2020 Florida Senior Games!

For the latest updates on these events or for more information about the Florida Senior Games, click here.

** Please note that all events, dates and locations are subject to change. **



The Sunshine State Games and Florida Senior Games are always in need of volunteers to assist at the various festivals and championships throughout the year. Your support is always greatly appreciated. If you would like to get involved TODAY, please contact the Florida Senior Games and Sunshine State Games office at 850-577-7200 or games@playinflorida.com.


We love our professional sports teams. And one way to show that love is to buy a specialty license plate for the team or sport of your choice.

But did you know that by buying a Florida sports license plate, you are also supporting youth and amateur athletes, as well? Through grants made possible by the sale of these license plates, young athletes are able to gain the tools and experience they need to perhaps become professional athletes one day … and amateur athletes of all ages are given the opportunity to become more well-rounded individuals.

A portion of each tag fee (between $15-$25, depending upon the specialty plate) goes either to the team’s designated youth charity, is granted by the Florida Sports Foundation to support sporting events across the state, supports the Sunshine State Games and other sports development opportunities. The additional tag fee is tax-deductible.


Contact: Liese Abili | Director of Sports Development labili@playinflorida.com