USF Announces Multimedia Rights Partnership

April 17, 2017

USF Athletics and Tampa Bay Entertainment Properties, LLC announce rights agreement
Groundbreaking media rights deal joins Bay Area organizations in 10-year partnership

TAMPA, APRIL 17, 2017 – USF Director of Athletics Mark Harlan announced today a groundbreaking agreement with  Tampa Bay Entertainment Properties, LLC (TBEP) to enter into a 10-year multimedia rights partnership starting July 1, 2017.

Based in Tampa, Fla., TBEP is an entity controlled by Jeff Vinik to provide services to clients relating to their own sports and entertainment properties. It is separate and different from the Vinik controlled entity that operates Amalie Arena and owns the highly-successful Tampa Bay Lightning NHL franchise, which was lauded as the No. 1 franchise among the four major professional sports leagues by ESPN in 2016.

“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with this tremendous leadership team and organization led by Jeff Vinik,” Harlan said. “Jeff Vinik has set the standard for not only successful operation and growth of a sports property but for the development and nurturing of strong relationships in the community and corporate sphere. USF is proud to partner with such a widely-respected and admired organization and looks forward to doing great things together both in the Bay Area and beyond.”

"Tampa Bay Entertainment Properties is proud to be representing the University of South Florida as we  deepen an already excellent relationship," said Steve Griggs, Chief Executive Officer for TBEP. “We have formed many great partnerships over the past few years under Jeff Vinik's leadership in the local and regional community and we look forward to taking our partnership philosophies representing USF Athletics through exceptional brand strategy, world class activation and community focus.” 

The 10-year partnership will run through 2027 and grants TBEP the exclusive rights to all commercial multimedia sports marketing, sponsorship, and respective inventory possessed by USF Athletics. Included among those is the exclusive right to secure naming rights for the USF Sun Dome and all USF owned inventory related to audio, television, print, social media and game entitlements. The partnership will also enhance fan engagement and customer service functions in USF Athletics and is expected to provide educational opportunities through integration with the university’s nationally-recognized Sport and Entertainment Management program. The agreement guarantees USF just over $29 million through the 10-year term, an average of $2.9 million per year.

“We are fortunate USF resides in a growing and thriving Bay Area with outstanding professional franchises,” Harlan said. “This is a very unique opportunity to partner with an organization that has been recognized nationwide as one the best in sports and to utilize their leadership, creativity, and relationships to continue to elevate USF Athletics.”

About Tampa Bay Entertainment Properties, LLC

Tampa Bay Entertainment Properties, LLC was formed by Jeff Vinik in 2017 as a firm specializing in partnership sales, consulting, marketing and operations in the sports and entertainment industry with a focus on creating world class experiences. Vinik purchased the Tampa Bay Lightning and the leasehold rights to AMALIE Arena, in March 2010, transforming a moribund organization into one of the most highly regarded franchises in sports today; earning recognition as the number one organization in professional sports by ESPN in its 2016 Ultimate Sports Standings. Vinik is also a partner, with Cascade Investment, LLC, in Strategic Property Partners, which is redeveloping 53 acres of property in downtown Tampa into a $3 billion mixed-use development, bringing hotels, housing, retail, office space and the USF Morsani College of Medicine to the Channelside area.

About USF Athletics

USF Athletics sponsors 19 varsity men’s and women’s teams that compete in 11 different sports, 18 competing at the NCAA Division I level in the American Athletic Conference. The Bulls’ athletic program celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015, having started with a men’s soccer contest in 1965. Nearly 500 student-athletes train and compete in the athletic district located on the east end of Tampa campus. The Bulls have claimed nine conference titles in the American Athletic Conference since 2013. Nine USF programs reached NCAA post-season competition in the 2015-16 and USF posted a program-record 86 percent Graduation Success Rate among student-athletes in the latest reporting.

– #GoBulls –

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