Thursday, February 22, 2018
Business

Gasparilla lands Seminole Hard Rock Tampa as title sponsor

TAMPA — Gasparilla has landed a title sponsor for its pirate festival, the city's largest annual party.

Seminole Hard Rock Tampa said Tuesday it is returning as the event's top sponsor through 2016. The casino had been the main sponsor in the past but decided not to renew for 2013, leaving the event without a title sponsor for the first time in years.

Gasparilla officials said the sponsorship would help cover general costs of the parade and street festival, from the musical entertainment to fireworks, and keep the event on solid financial footing.

"The event doesn't happen without help from sponsors," said Darrell Stefany, president of EventFest, which organizes Gasparilla. "It's a big deal for us to have a title sponsor back this year."

Without going into specifics, Stefany said the agreement with Hard Rock would further efforts to expand the celebration and make it even more successful. A tradition since 1904, Gasparilla's parade along Bayshore Boulevard attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year. The 2014 Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest is set for Jan. 25.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a look at federal tax returns for the nonprofit presenting group, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, show revenue from all sponsorships totaled $130,095 in 2010.

The casino has been involved in the parade for several years and served as title sponsor in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Before that, Southwest Airlines held the naming rights for 14 years.

Seminole Hard Rock officials said the title sponsorship reflects their "core values of uplifting the community throughout the year'' and allows them to bring their fun to the city.

"The Gasparilla Pirate Fest is a very important celebration for the Tampa Bay community and provides a big boost to the economy each year," John Fontana, president of Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, said in a news release. "We want to see it grow even more successful."

Money from sponsors goes toward general operations, from the never-enough portable toilets to fencing and bleachers. In return, sponsors get their names on marketing materials and a float in the parade, which is televised.

To celebrate the sponsorship, the Seminole Hard Rock is throwing a Gasparilla Treasures Mixer on Thursday. The event, which coincides with International Talk Like a Pirate Day, runs from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Hard Rock Café, 5223 Orient Road, Tampa.

Comments
Administrator Haley Loeun fired from CareerSource jobs centers

Administrator Haley Loeun fired from CareerSource jobs centers

Haley Loeun, a top aide to the embattled leader of the Pinellas and Hillsborough jobs boards, was fired Thursday from her $130,000 position as business services director. Loeun came under criticism after the Tampa Bay Times reported that CareerSource...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands beats Wall Street forecasts

Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands beats Wall Street forecasts

TAMPA — Outback Steakhouse has been pressured to improve for awhile, but the restaurant chain isn’t cooked yet. In fact, a boost in Outback sales led its Tampa-based parent company to beat Wall Street expectations in its fourth quarter.Bloomin’ Brand...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa Bay area’s population projected to grow to 3.1 million this year

Tampa Bay area’s population projected to grow to 3.1 million this year

TAMPA — The Tampa Bay area’s population, already the largest of any metropolitan area in the state, is projected to grow from 3 million last year to 3.1 million this year, and to 3.3 million over the next five years.That growth is expected to bring c...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Work finally starts on downtown St. Petersburg’s newest hotel

Work finally starts on downtown St. Petersburg’s newest hotel

ST. PETERSBURG — Nearly a decade after it was first proposed, a new boutique hotel in downtown St. Petersburg is finally under construction.Workers are preparing the foundation of the Galaxy, an 11-story, 92-room hotel at Third Avenue N and First Str...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Note to readers: About those annoying popups on your phones

Note to readers: About those annoying popups on your phones

Dear readers, I hope that you are able to see this and that a popup saying you’ve won a gift card hasn’t taken over your phone. We have heard from many of you that these popups are preventing you from reading our news coverage.We hate them as much as...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Saving trees a passion for some St. Petersburg neighborhood leaders

Saving trees a passion for some St. Petersburg neighborhood leaders

ST. PETERSBURGBeth Connor, a longtime neighborhood environmental advocate, is alarmed at what she views as the destruction of the city’s trees in the name of development.She points to at least three properties that have been scraped of trees in recen...
Published: 02/22/18
This week food fests celebrate collard greens and Jewish foods

This week food fests celebrate collard greens and Jewish foods

FIELD OF GREEN: COLLARD FESTOn Saturday you can devote your whole day to the beauty of collard greens. Well, that’s the jumping off point. Collards are the "central ingredient" at the Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival at St. Petersburg’s Historic Deuc...
Updated: 8 hours ago
CareerSource jobs chief Edward Peachey could soon be out of work

CareerSource jobs chief Edward Peachey could soon be out of work

CLEARWATER — The heads of the Pinellas and Hillsborough jobs boards will hold emergency meetings in the coming days to consider firing president and CEO Edward Peachey. Jack Geller, board chairman of CareerSource Pinellas, and Dick Peck, chair...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/22/18
Hillsborough commissioners ask CareerSource chief to step down or be fired

Hillsborough commissioners ask CareerSource chief to step down or be fired

TAMPA –– Hillsborough County commissioners voted Wednesday to ask embattled jobs center leader Ed Peachey to either resign or face termination over concerns the agency inflated job placement numbers with the state. Chairwoman Sandy Murman said commis...
Published: 02/21/18
St. Pete's World Liquors sign will live on at new home

St. Pete's World Liquors sign will live on at new home

A local landmark for a half century isn't coming down for good.
Published: 02/21/18