TAMPA, Fla. - Hundreds of Tampa Bay area businesses made their pitches to be part of Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.
More than 1,200 companies applied to fill 250 spots offered by the Super Bowl's Business Connect program. At Tuesday's pitch day, each company had about 10 minutes to convince the committee to give them a contract.
The program's director, Lakendria Robinson said companies, "really have to kick it into high gear now."
"This is really... one step of the process, so we'll do pitch days for those companies who offer catering and floral arrangements and those sorts of things," Robinson said. "Those companies that stand out, that offer unique products and services and really take an extra step to provide excellent service, that's the top-notch company that we're looking for."
The Super Bowl committee said it's committed to hiring diverse companies. Michael Planas, who is Cuban and owns the gourmet coffee and gelato service Cafe a la Carte, was among Tuesday's applicants.
"I'm very confident in what we do and what we accomplish. We're actually the only local one who does what we do. There's nobody else who really does what we do and especially that's built on the speed and efficiency of what we do that can handle the large capacities," said Planas. "We get to be a part of something that's bigger than us because we're just a little, small part of Tampa, but at the same time, it really gets to show something that's bigger than us."
According to the Business Connect program, chosen companies will get the opportunity to network while receiving educational and business development opportunities.