2021 Connect Sports Game Changers: Jason Aughey

Jason Aughey is the senior vice president of sports tourism at the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.

2021 Connect Sports Game Changers: Jason Aughey

Jason Aughey
Senior Vice President of Sports Tourism, Tampa Bay Sports Commission


Main Events: 2013 National Veterans Wheelchair Games and the 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games

What I do: My primary responsibility is coordinating the commission’s direct sales and marketing strategies and leading the effort in attracting, as well as organizing, amateur events of all sizes. When it comes to major events, in addition to helping spearhead the bid effort, I oversee our lodging program and out-of-home branding campaigns and act as the liaison to our airport and convention center, among other responsibilities. 

How I got here: Internships with the Philadelphia 76ers (junior year) and Amateur Athletic Union (senior year) helped me earn my first job with Central Florida’s Polk County Sports Marketing, upon graduating from James Madison University with a degree in sport management and business. Following a nearly two-year stint as their sports sales and events representative, I was approached by the Tampa Bay Sports Commission to come on board as their sales and events coordinator and have been with the organization ever since (16 years). 

What I did to assist the sports tourism recovery during COVID: Being a part of our Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee, our planning process was thrown the ultimate curveball as the coronavirus began to devastate the nation. Despite the unprecedented challenges that planning a Super Bowl in a pandemic presented, our community’s commitment remained steadfast, and working hand in hand with the National Football League, we persevered in coordinating and executing arguably one of the most important Super Bowls of our lifetime. 

Greatest career accomplishment: Super Bowl LV. It served as a beacon of light for so many and a rallying point for us to move forward not just as a community, but as a country. We watched Tampa Bay come together like never before for Super Bowl LV, and as a result, everyone who was involved walked away feeling an indescribable sense of pride for what we collectively accomplished. On top of that, we made history, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers not only becoming the first team to play in their home stadium during a Super Bowl, but also the first team to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy in their home stadium!

What’s next? Over the next year, we will host the 2021 NCAA Division II Women’s Volleyball Championship and Division II Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Regional and National Championships, along with the 2022 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, all for the second time. We will also welcome a variety of top-notch youth and amateur organizations and their flagship events to our renowned Tournament SportsPlex of Tampa Bay, a 15-field, fully lit, first-class multipurpose facility.

In 2023, the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship and Men’s Frozen Four return for the second and third time, respectively. In 2025, we host the NCAA Women’s Final Four for a record fourth time and then the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball first and second rounds in 2026.

Favorite sports movie: Tie: “The Natural,” “Bull Durham” and “Field of Dreams”

Favorite athlete of all-time: David Wright (New York Mets)