FSF Partner NEWSLETTER September 2020

"As we close out the first quarter of the 2020-2021 fiscal year, I want to take this moment to thank each of you for being devoted partners with the Florida Sports Foundation. Your tenacity and renewed confidence is a motivation to everyone. We are excited to welcome Matt Guse as the Foundation's new Vice President of Operations. I would like to personally extend an invitation to this month's Virtual Roundtable as we offer training centered on the new Florida Sports Directory. We look forward to highlighting more partners and rights holders in the future. Stay safe and well."
Director of Sports Development


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

  • FSF Roundtable Discussion
  • Sports Trade Shows & Conferences
  • Partner & Rights Holder Spotlights
  • Event Spotlight: Grand Slam World Series of Baseball
  • Amateur Sports Update (FSG & SSG)
  • Professional Sports Specialty Plates

Industry Partner Virtual Roundtable

Mark your calendars!

Monday, September 21, 2020

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

Featuring Guest Speaker:


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.


Gainesville Sports Commission

Joleen Cacciatore Miller, Executive Director jcacciatore@gainesvillesportscommission.com

From youth sports championships to Olympic Trials, the Gainesville Sports Commission has played a role in partnering with or hosting some of the nation’s most prestigious events. Gainesville and Alachua County truly offers something for every Champion! Being centrally located in the state and in close proximity to surrounding states, City of Gainesville and Alachua County is a premier destination to host your next event.

Home to the University of Florida, elite facilities are easy to come by in the perfect location. Whether you need courts or fields, the local sports facilities can accommodate every event. After your event, athletes will have no shortage of activities during their stay. The county boasts a number of state parks, natural springs, and museums, along with an abundance of shopping and dining options in Celebration Pointe, Butler Plaza, and Downtown Gainesville.

The Gainesville Sports Commission staff is here to help make your event experience exceptional by providing you and your attendees the perfect facility with the combination of Gainesville’s rich sports performance history and small-town charm.


Florida's Space Coast

Peter Cranis, Executive Director
Erinn Stranko, Operations Manager & Sports Commissioner Erinn.Stranko@visitspacecoast.com

Launch your competitive spirit on Florida’s Space Coast

From the water to the fields, Florida’s Space Coast has a venue for nearly every sporting event you can imagine. Athletes can fly into the centrally located Orlando Melbourne International Airport, or make the short drive from the Orlando International Airport.

The Space Coast is the East Coast Surfing Capital; home to multiple surfing competitions, 11-time world champion Kelly Slater, 2021 Summer Olympian Caroline Marks, and many more notable and champion surfers. Other popular watersports include stand-up paddle boarding, windsurfing, kitesurfing, and wakeboarding.

The accolades don’t stop at surfing. Multiple fishing tournaments occur off our shores and in the Indian River Lagoon. Florida’s Space Coast is the northernmost boundary on the East Coast for snook, has some of the largest spotted seatrout around, is home to one of the top largemouth bass fisheries in the world, and is the redfish capital of the world.

The Space Coast was proud to host the 2020 AAU Junior Olympic Games with nearly 3800 athletes in attendance. In addition, the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera is the premier high school and college spring training destination for baseball and fastpitch teams with 15 all-turf fields and three championship stadiums. In the City of West Melbourne, you will find the Space Coast Field of Dreams, the first park in the State of Florida built entirely for children and adults with special needs.

Facilities available for use from Brevard County Parks and Recreation, Brevard County Public Schools, and Eastern Florida State College include fields for soccer, football, baseball, and softball, courts for tennis, racquet ball, and basketball, swimming pools, beach volleyball, and track and field. The Space Race isn’t the only important competition to grace our shores!


Grand Slam World Series of Baseball

Larry Thompson | Owner/CEO, grandslamtournaments@gmail.com

Grand Slam Sports Tournaments has been providing quality youth travel baseball events for youth ages 7U through 18U for the past 16-years. Tournaments are run in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Texas. In year 17, Grand Slam Tournaments is excited to host the 2021 Grand Slam World Series of Baseball in Panama City Beach, Florida, at both the PCB Sports Complex and Frank Brown Park. The Grand Slam World Series of Baseball is comprised of four, week-long events in June and July each year that brings 400+ teams from 20+ states to the Panama City Beach area. Over 200+ qualifying events are held throughout the year over the southeastern United States where teams are playing for the opportunity to participate in our World Series events. Grand Slam Sports Tournaments have been recognized by numerous organizations over the past few years, including being named a Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism in 2018 and 2019. Grand Slam Sports Tournaments has accounted for an over $50-million dollars of economic impact for Bay County and the surround area. Grand Slam owner and CEO, Larry Thompson, Jr., was named the Connect Youth Sports Organizer of the Year in 2020 and Grand Slam was named the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce business of the year in 2018.



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

  • October 10: Bigbore/Smallbore Cowboy Rifle Silhouette (Seminole County Gun Club)
  • November 1: Precision Pistol (Wyoming Antelope Club, Clearwater)

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

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.

Join us in welcoming Matt Guse to the Florida Sports Foundation as the Vice President of Operations.


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