On Tuesday February 6, 2018 the Tampa Connection Class of 2017-2018 participated in our Tampa Bay Sports Day: Going Beyond the Field. Our overall mission of the day was to demonstrate the importance of Sports social, economic and philanthropic impact on the Tampa Bay community.
Our action-packed day started with a breakfast tailgate on the grounds of Raymond James Stadium. From there we moved on to a behind the scenes tour of Raymond James Stadium. This included tours of the Hall of Fame club, access to the pirate ship, a one of a kind opportunity to stand on the field, and a private inside view of both the Bucs and Bulls locker rooms.
Once we wrapped up the tour of the stadium we took a quick drive to One Buc Place for a tour the facilities and a Q&A Panel. The esteemed panel included: Eric Blankenship, Vice President Marketing for the Tampa Bay Lighting; Christi Bedan, Vice President Digital & Media, and Atul Khosla, Chief Corp Development & Brand Officer of the Tampa Bay Bucs; Eric Weisberg, VP Marketing & Creative Services for the Tampa Bay Rays. Jason Aughey the Senior Director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission stole the show moderating the panel.
After a lunch at One Buc Place in the Buccaneers cafeteria we drove to George M. Steinbrenner Field. There the whole Tampa Connection 2018 class, including the board members, were able have their very own private batting practice on the baseball field. This was a Tampa Connection first in all our sports program history!
After the tour, we had Q&A with a panel of Yankee Executives. The panel included Anthony “Tony” Bruno , Senior Vice President of the New York Yankees Partnership; Chief Financial Officer of Yankee Global Enterprises and Financial Officer/Director of The New York Yankees Tampa Foundation, Inc; Also Manuel “Manny” Garcia, Florida Counsel of the New York Yankees Partnership/Executive Committee Member of The New York Yankees Tampa Foundation, Inc.; and C. Vance Smith, Director of Florida Operations of the New York Yankees Partnership/General Manager of the Tampa Tarpons. These three individuals gave us insight to the past, present, and future of the Yankees in Tampa Bay community and how the Yankees are deeply rooted and committed to our city.
This amazing day ended with a Dugout happy hour for Tampa Connection class and board, where raffle prizes were awarded to two lucky TC class members, including tickets to a Yankees spring training game and a Tampa Tarpons game. Lastly, each class member left with a replica Yankee championship ring. All and all this year’s Sports Program will be one to go down in the Tampa Connection history books!