Super Bowl LV creates big opportunities for local businesses

Super Bowl LV creates big opportunities for local businesses
by Shaunda Wickham | January 6, 2020

Loaded with fan fair, comradery, celebrity sightings, and celebrations, there is a lot of excitement that comes with your town being chosen to host the Super Bowl. For many local business owners, it can be a very profitable time as well.

The National Football League (NFL) has made the process of becoming a vendor for Super Bowl LV in 2021 even easier by creating Business Connect. According to their press release, Business Connect is a special event supplier diversity program that creates contracting opportunities for diverse business owners.

To ensure that they are attracting a truly diverse group of business owners, there are eligibility requirements.

To qualify for the Super Bowl LV Business Connect program, each business must:

  • Be 51 percent owned by a minority, woman, veteran, or LGBT individual and must be certified as one of the following:
    • Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)
    • Woman-Owned Business (WMBE)
    • Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB)
    • Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender Business Enterprise (LGBTBE)
  • Have a physical office
  • Been in business for three years (Since January 2017)
  • Provide and be a direct source of a good or service that they request
  • Be in good standing and be eligible to do business with the State of Florida and Hillsborough, Pinellas, and/or Pasco County

If you meet all of the eligibility requirements except for certifications, don’t fret. The Florida SBDC at University of South Florida can help via its partnerships with Hillsborough County and Pinellas County. The Centers offer one-on-one certification guidance at no-cost, as well as classes, tools and resources to help you through the arduous process. Pinellas County also has the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Certification program for businesses, which was recognized by the NFL in 2009.

Business Connect promises that this program will benefit hundreds of local companies. Though registration is open to all businesses who qualify, not every business is guaranteed a contract. What Business Connect promises is opportunities to be more competitive in the future by offering training classes and networking events.

Applications are open from Nov. 12, 2019 to Feb. 14, 2020 and the vetting and selection process will take place from February 17 to March 14, 2020.

Commonly requested categories for this event include audio visual, concrete barricades, catering, janitorial, staffing, waste removal, graphics, temporary housing, etc. For a full list of categories or to apply for the program, visit

Shaunda Wickham is a marketing specialist for the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida.