FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

A good sport

(Mark Wemple)

We all follow sports or know someone who does, whether it’s high school, college, professional or simply for fun. Sports is big business — bigger than you may think.

In this edition (November), Florida Trend peers into the intersection of sports and money, specifically the worlds of ice hockey, soccer and fitness.

You’ll be amazed at the turnaround — and real estate deals — that Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is orchestrating, the expansion of Major League Soccer into Orlando and the fitness club craze. (See page 140 of the magazine, or click here.)


Tampa and Hillsborough County also come into the spotlight in this issue. The Tampa region is on the move with new businesses coming into town — Amazon and Bristol-Myers Squibb might be garnering the most publicity, but they are only the tip of the iceberg.

Florida's Heartland

Tampa has become the business centerpiece of Florida’s Gulf coast. The airport and the port are expanding, driving jobs while connecting business here to the world. Professional service firms are a dominant presence, while the financial sector remains strong.

Technology and life sciences have both become major hubs, drawing on the talent graduating from schools like the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa and Hillsborough Community College. USF has a major focus on medicine, where it is joined by specialists such as the Moffitt Cancer Center, the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Tampa General, Florida Hospital and a dozen more.

President Obama was recently in town to meet with military leaders who fight the war in the Mideast out of Centcom headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base. The military plays a major role in Tampa’s economy, with MacDill, defense contractors and thousands who served and live in the area.

The excitement in downtown Tampa is most noteworthy. Mayor Bob Buckhorn has cut the ribbon on two new hotels with another in the works. The recent announcement that Bill Gates’ investment arm is backing the Channelside development has added fuel to the fire.

I invite you to join us on a deep dive into this metropolis in the issue and at this link.


Florida NEXT

Some 450,000 high school students at 1,000 public and private schools in Florida have received Florida Trend’s NEXT magazine — thanks to the magazine’s advertisers and its primary sponsor, CareerSource Florida.

We describe NEXT as a “guidance counselor wrapped into a magazine.” It’s full of useful information for students and their parents or counselors. Armed with this information, more Florida students are equipped to continue their education or take meaningful jobs.

There are sections on money management, test taking, community service, entrepreneurship, career planning and, of course, colleges — from prepping to paying (including scholarships).

The “Get Smart Guide” lists Florida’s universities, state colleges, independent schools and career/technical schools, with relevant data and contact information.

If your student “lost” his/her copy — or if you’re just curious — drop me a note, and I’ll put one in the mail to you.


Fitness update: On a recent warm-up run, I saw a colleague walking the family poodles, Oscar and Spencer. They can vouch that I’m ready for the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. I’m shooting to beat my 2013 time, even if I have aged another year.

— Andy Corty