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Lightning, Majestic Athletic, USF Sports and Entertainment Management Students to celebrate new program with service day

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

Employees from the Tampa Bay Lightning, Majestic Athletic and students from the University of South Florida’s Inaugural Sports and Entertainment Management MBA Program will celebrate the new department in the school’s college of business with a day of community service at Pinellas Hope on Thursday, August 23. Nearly 150 representatives from the three organizations will serve meals to the hungry, participate in maintenance activities and assist with sprucing up the community.

"It is with great pride that we partner with [USF Sport and Entertainment Management Program Director] Dr. Bill Sutton, USF, Majestic Athletic and Pinellas Hope to make a difference for those less fortunate," said Steve Griggs, Chief Operating Officer of the Lightning and the Tampa Bay Times Forum. "Pinellas Hope has been an inspiration to all of Tampa Bay for all its extensive work with the homeless and we're pleased to be able to get our employees involved for this service day."

“Being able to work alongside the Lightning, Majestic and Pinellas Hope to serve the homeless is the kind of collaboration that we want to be known for,” Sutton said. “Successful sport and entertainment management requires a real connection to the community it operates in.”

"We at Majestic Athletic look forward to working with our partners at USF and the Tampa Bay Lightning in supporting Pinellas Hope,” said Majestic Athletic President Jim Pisani. “Serving the local community and those who need a helping hand is part of our overall mission and is embraced by the over 1,800 associates here at Majestic Athletic".

Pinellas Hope, located at 5726 126th Avenue N. in Clearwater, is a program of Catholic Charities, Diocese of St. Petersburg, a non-profit organization which opened 65 years ago to serve with charity and compassion. Pinellas Hope is a temporary emergency shelter for more than 250 homeless men and women, located on 20 acres provided by Bishop Robert N. Lynch and the Diocese of St. Petersburg. It opened its doors on December 1, 2007. Pinellas Hope was one of the 2011-12 recipients of the Lightning’s Community Hero Award, with a $50,000 donation to the charity (Read more).

On February 16, 2012, the Lightning Foundation and the USF College of Business announced that the two would partner to offer an MBA in Sport and Entertainment Management, a two-year degree program emphasizing the business fundamentals of the industry and providing students with paid internships to help them experience how those lessons are applied in the real world. The Lightning Foundation has provided a grant to assist with program costs, including faculty salaries and student fellowships.

For more information on the Sport and Entertainment Program at USF visit

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