Jeff Vinik, Chairman and Governor of the Tampa Bay Lightning, has created Vinik Sports Group, LLC the organization announced today. Vinik Sports Group (VSG) will not only serve as the parent company for the Tampa Bay Lightning, the lease holding entity for AMALIE Arena and other sports and entertainment assets, it becomes the umbrella brand for three new business verticals being introduced today: VSG Commercial Sales, VSG Facilities and VSG Live. Strategic Property Partners, LLC (the development company created with Cascade Investment, LLC to focus on Water Street Tampa) and Vinik Family Office, LLC remain separate entities.
"I am pleased to move our organization forward in this exciting new direction," Vinik said today about the creation of VSG. "We have a wonderfully talented leadership team that has worked well with our dedicated staff to transform the Tampa Bay Lightning, AMALIE Arena and our related businesses. We look forward to sharing our expertise in the industry with others that share our values while they look to grow their businesses and the relationships with those that they serve."
From a branding perspective, Vinik Sports Group will be marketed locally and regionally as a leader in the sports and entertainment industry that can assist other companies with facility management, live event creation and execution, partnership development and ticket sales. A new website, viniksportsgroup.com launches immediately. The organization will utilize the hashtag #VinikSportsGroup for its social channels.
"On behalf of our leadership team and our employees, I thank Jeff Vinik for the opportunity as we create Vinik Sports Group," said Chief Executive Officer Steve Griggs. "We'd like to share our expertise, locally and regionally, with those that think we can help their sports and entertainment businesses. In the 10 years that Jeff and his family have owned the Lightning, his name has become synonymous with world class service and performance along with a community-first value system. These become the pillars of Vinik Sports Group."
VSG Commercial Sales drives revenue for a multitude of businesses, leveraging experienced partnerships and ticketing teams backed by consumer marketing and analytics. In addition to handling all the sales functions (tickets, suites, partnerships) for the Tampa Bay Lightning, VSG Commercial Sales oversees multimedia rights for the University of South Florida's Athletic Department and a digital media company, The Identity Tampa Bay, with a focus on partnership development. It has also assisted in ticket sales functions for WWE's WrestleMania 36, coming to Tampa in April 2020. This division is being managed by the company's Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer, Jarrod Dillon.
VSG Facilities manages both front-of-house and back-of-house services, providing turnkey solutions for not just the physical management of buildings, but world-class service levels. It already manages and operates AMALIE Arena, Yuengling Center on the campus at the University of South Florida and Embarc Collective, a 501c3 nonprofit that helps Tampa Bay's startup talent build bold, scalable, thriving companies. This division is being managed by company executive vice president Darryl Benge.
VSG Live offers full-service event management expertise from the announce to the encore, booking, marketing and operating live event experiences throughout Tampa Bay. In addition to managing all events at AMALIE Arena and Yuengling Center, VSG Live recently reached an agreement with the Tampa Sports Authority to serve as a ticketing solution for select events at Raymond James Stadium. This division is being managed by executive vice president Kevin Preast.
About Vinik Sports Group, LLC
Home to an NHL franchise, a collegiate athletics property, two event venues, a digital media company, retail and ecommerce platforms, Vinik Sports Group (VSG) creates world-class experiences that grow brands, drive revenues and impact the community.
Drawing on the expertise showcased during the transformation of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Amalie Arena under Jeff Vinik, VSG serves clients through its three core divisions - VSG Commercial Sales, VSG Facilities and VSG Live. VSG features a leadership team with decades of experience in the sports and entertainment industries; leaders who focus on each client's unique needs before developing strategies and delivering successful solutions in the multimedia sales, event management, facility operations, and guest services verticals. VSG maintains a preference for long-term win-win partnerships, but it remains nimble enough to manage individual events and short-term opportunities for its customers.