TAMPA, FL (via Tampa Bay Sports Commission) – On Wednesday, June 18, the Tampa Bay community will come together to recognize local sports business excellence at the Tampa Bay Sports Commission’s (TBSC) 4th Annual Tampa Bay Sneaker Soiree. Co-chairing this year’s Soiree are Tampa Bay Rays’ Manager, Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ General Manager, Jason Licht and Tampa Bay Lightning Head Coach, Jon Cooper. The Soiree will be held at TPepin’s Hospitality Centre with programming beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The Soiree will highlight a year’s worth of local sports properties’ on and off the field achievements, while commemorating a series of Tampa Bay leaders and influencers whose impact has been felt community-wide.
Three chief honors will spotlight each of these awardees as they reflect the persona of the individual that the award is named after. The Freddie Solomon Moral Courage Award is given annually to a person who shows tremendous courage in the face of adversity. The Tom McEwen Community Advocate of the Year Award is given annually to a person or group of people in recognition of their outstanding support and advocacy of sports in Tampa Bay, and the Lee Roy Selmon Lifetime Achievement Award is given annually to an individual(s) that demonstrate a lifetime’s worth of incredible support for the Tampa Bay sports community. The Soiree’s 2014 recipients include:
Gavin Lambert: The Freddie Solomon Moral Courage Award
Jeff Adams: The Tom McEwen Community Advocate of the Year Award
Derrick Brooks: The Lee Roy Selmon Lifetime Achievement Award
“We feel very fortunate to be able to bring so many first-class sports organizations and talented individuals together to celebrate the incredible impact that sports offers our community,” stated Rob Higgins, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.
The Sneaker Soiree will also crown its second ‘Budweiser Presents King of Tampa Bay Sports’. The raffle contest allows for one local super fan the opportunity to attend over 200 Tampa Bay home sporting contests in 2014-15.
Bright House Sports Network will telecast the event live for an airing date that has yet to be determined. 620 WDAE, a Clear Channel station, will also air the event live in its entirety.
A limited number of tickets for the Soiree are still available for purchase by visiting www.TampaBaySneakerSoiree.com.
Partners for the 2014 Tampa Bay Sneaker Soiree include: Budweiser, Bright House Sports Network, 620 WDAE, Visit Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Times, tbt*, Company Man, Elder Automotive, Moffitt Cancer Center, Kane’s Furniture, TECO Energy, Jones Lang LaSalle, DeBartolo Sports and Events, Under Armour, Mainsail Lodging and Development, Modern Business Associates, Premiere Beverage, Outdoor America Images, Hillsborough County, McKibbon Hotel Properties, Pepin Distributing, Northwestern Mutual of North Tampa, Docusource Visual Communications, Grow Financial, Thuzi, LaunchTrack, Ambassador Limousine, Betras, Kopp & Harshman, LLC and Wells Fargo.
For additional information, please visit the official home of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, www.TampaBaySports.org, or follow us on Twitter @SportsTampaBay. All media inquiries can be directed to Michael Farrant, Tampa Bay Sports Commission Multimedia Specialist, at MFarrant@VisitTampaBay.com or (727) 543-8063.
Check out photos from last year's event below!
Tom Jones was born and raised in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and studied English at the University of South Florida from 1982 to 1986.
He began his writing career with the St. Petersburg Evening Independent in 1985. He then went on to work for the St. Petersburg Times from 1987 to 1991, the Tampa Tribune from 1991 to 1996, the St. Petersburg Times again from 1996 to 2000 and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune from 2000 to 2003. He then rejoined the St. Petersburg Times for a third time in his career in 2003, where he worked ever since.
Jones has spent most of his career covering the NHL, including being a beat writer for more than 15 years of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Minnesota. Wild. He also spent two years on the Tampa Bay Rays beat. He then become a columnist at Times starting in 2007. Jones has won several national and state writing awards, including a top 10 game story in the nation in 1998 as named by the Associated Press Sports Editors.
Over the course of his career, Jones has covered the Olympics, the World Series, the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup finals, baseball and hockey all-star games, the NCAA basketball tournament and the Frozen Four.
Jones lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Patty, and sons, Sam and Andy.
With over two decades of reporting on professional and collegiate sports for the Tampa Bay Times, through performance and work experience in journalism and broadcasting in television and radio, Rick Stroud has cultivated an impressive list of sources and utilized his knowledge to produce an outstanding body of work in both print and electronic mediums.
During his career, Stroud has reported on national sporting events including 22 Super Bowls, the NCAA Final Four, and the Major League Baseball Playoffs. While working as the beat writer assigned to the University of Florida at the Times, Stroudâ€™s stories documented NCAA rules violations by the football and basketball programs. The stories for which Stroud won second place for Best Investigative Reporting from the Associated Press Sports Editors, led to sanctions against both Gators programs.
Since 2004, Stroud has appeared as an NFL Insider for ESPN2â€™s First Take and is a regular contributor to ESPNâ€™s SportsCenter, NFL Live, Outside the Lines and Herd with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio. He also contributes to NFL Networkâ€™s Total Access.
Stroud becan covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the National Football League in 1990. Since then, the Bucs have undergone seven coaching changes, the death of owner Hugh Culverhouse and the sale of the franchise to billionaire owner Malcolm Glazer and a stadium referendum. They also celebrated a Super Bowl XXVII victory. His reporting was referenced in Tony Dungyâ€™s best seller, Quiet Strength, particularly because it was Stroud who informed Dungy of the Bucsâ€™ plan to replace him with Giants Super Bowl coach Bill Parcells.
A former Div. I-A baseball player at Arkansas , Stroud brings a unique perspective to sports reporting. During the NFL lockout in 2011, he also served as one of the Timesâ€™ beat writers responsible for covering the Tampa Bay Rays.