The Information Display and Entertainment Association (IDEA) will induct John Franzone, Vice President of Event Productions for the Tampa Bay Lightning and the St. Pete Times Forum, into the IDEA Hall of Fame. A formal induction ceremony will take place at the 2010 IDEA conference to be held in Tampa, Florida this February.
IDEA is the premier association for professionals in the large-screen, event and in-game entertainment and presentation industry. Founded in 1982, IDEA’s membership is comprised of the producers, directors, operators and industry vendors for teams, public facilities and manufacturers worldwide.
“John’s induction into the Hall of Fame is evidence of his unwavering commitment to excellence in the sports and entertainment industry and IDEA” said Anthony Fanticola, President of IDEA. “Many of the very successful professionals working throughout the industry today were mentored by John.”
Currently in charge of in-arena presentation and video production for the Lightning, Franzone began his career in the in-game presentation industry as an intern with the New York Mets in 1986. He then moved to the Bronx and joined the New York Yankees, where he spent 10 successful seasons as Director of Video Operations, including the Bombers’ World Series title season in 1996.
During his employment with the Yankees, John relocated to Florida to accept a position with Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex. Franzone returned to Major League Baseball in 1997 when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays expansion franchise was awarded. After 10 years with the Rays, lastly as Senior Director of Event Productions, he moved on to his latest endeavor with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2008.
“We are proud of John for this great accomplishment,” said Oren Koules, owner and governor of the Lightning. “We brought him aboard to heighten the fan experience and bring more energy and electricity into the building on a regular basis. He has done that and more, bringing a true passion for his field and a desire to be the best.”
Franzone served as President of IDEA from 1993-1994, Vice President from 1991-1992 and again from 1995-1996. He served as the IDEA Conference Host City Coordinator in 1993 and 1999, and will serve again for the upcoming conference in 2010. Franzone has received more than 12 Golden Matrix Awards.
“It’s truly a privilege to be selected to the Hall of Fame. IDEA has had such a positive impact on my life, in my career development and in the many friendships I’ve forged through this talented and creative group of professionals,” Franzone said. “I am both humbled by and deeply appreciative of the honor. Being at home here in Tampa, I’m also fortunate to be able to share the induction moment with my family at the conference February. That’s the icing on the cake.”
IDEA encompasses all branches of the sports, entertainment and convention industries, including baseball, basketball, football, hockey, racing, soccer, arenas, convention centers, stadiums and universities. Created in 2008, The IDEA Hall of Fame recognizes IDEA members, past and present, who have made a significant impact on the organization or industry.