108: Rashad Thomas (Miami Super Bowl Host Committee)

Rashad Thomas on Innovation City

“Do your homework, it’s simple. Find out what’s going on and get connected. There are too many opportunities [out there].” — Rashad Thomas

Welcome to Innovation City—powered by Venture Cafe—where Tyler Kelley and Michael Johnson, Co-Founders of SLAM! Agency, interview innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in cooperation with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community. Venture Cafe is the largest combined gathering of entrepreneurs and innovators anywhere in the world. Events are held every Thursday in St. Louis, Miami, and other leading innovation cities around the globe.

Today’s guest is Rashad Thomas, VP, Business Connect & Legacy Projects for the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee. The Miami Super Bowl Host Committee is the liaison between the National Football League, the city of Miami and the local surrounding communities. Rashad joins the team to discuss the Business Connect program and how to get involved with Super Bowl LIV, Miami’s diversity and culture, his work with the city of Miami and the Liberty City community, the importance of networking within the community, and much more!

They discuss:

  • What is the Business Connect program?
    • The NFL’s diversity initiative that aims to provide diverse, qualified and certified South Florida area businesses opportunities to compete for special event related contracts connected to the Super Bowl in Miami
  • To qualify for the Business Connect program, businesses must meet certain requirements
  • The estimated economic impact for a city hosting the Super Bowl is $500 million
  • Last year, the Super Bowl spent over $9 million with the Business Connect program
  • The businesses selected have an opportunity to scale up after the Super Bowl
  • Even if a business is not selected to be a part of the program, the Host Committee can still offer referrals and insights for other upcoming events
  • Miami is a city you can come to with just an idea and see it flourish
  • Miami’s diversity and culture
  • In the past, Miami had an issue with the collaboration of it’s neighborhoods
    • B2B transactions are having a positive impact on the collaboration
  • His previous work with the city of Miami as a community organizer
  • His passion for community involvement came from seeing his grandmother’s passion for her community and always giving back
  • His foundation, T5 Foundation, giving back to the Liberty City neighborhood
  • The importance of networking within the community
  • Now is the time to build your brand or business in preparation for some major future events in Miami
  • Researching upcoming events and getting in touch with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Business Connect program members often times have to use subcontractors to fulfill the large orders of the Super Bowl
  • The various types of suppliers needed for the Super Bowl
  • Miami will need 10,000 volunteers for the Super Bowl
  • Connect with Rashad on Instagram and Facebook