Story Tools

Date of Issue: January 14, 2009

Galati Marine to make 'super' appearance

/1-14-09/tampa-bay-stadium-2.jpg

The Island is certain to get its name in “super” circles with Super Bowl set for kickoff in Tampa Feb. 1.

Galati Marine is set to represent Anna Maria Island during Super Bowl week, as it did at the 2001 Super Bowl in Tampa between the New York Giants and the Baltimore Ravens. Prior to that game, NFL films did a segment on Galati Marine that was televised leading up to the main event.

This year, Chris Galati says, the NFL has made us a different offer.

“We’ve been invited to bring a luxury yacht for display alongside Jackson’s Restaurant at Harbor Island in Tampa during one of the parties,” said Galati. The party will be hosted by Jim Carrey and Carmen Electra.

“We’re trying to work out the details now,” he said.

And the Island will likely get some visitors for Super Bowl week, said Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Larry White.

While he said he can’t predict how many people will stay on the Island during the week-long festivities, he’s had a number of people call and tell him they’ve booked rooms on the Island that week.

Super Bowl festivities planned by the Super Bowl Host Committee in Tampa begin two weeks before the game and the vast majority of rooms for NFL corporate sponsors are booked in the Tampa-St. Petersburg and Clearwater Beach areas, he said.

We’re not the lead destination for the Super Bowl,” White noted.

Fans lucky enough to get a Super Bowl ticket will be steered toward an accommodation in one of those destinations, all of which are nearer to the stadium than Anna Maria Island. Of course, individual fans may still find their way to the Island.

“People who want to come to Anna Maria Island during Super Bowl week will already know about us,” White said.

A veteran of two Super Bowls in New Orleans, White said the event is now about corporate partners and licensing. A visitors bureau that wants some of the corporate dollars spent in its location must pay for the privilege, he noted. Because Tampa and St. Petersburg are the primary sponsors, most of the rooms booked for NFL partners are going to those destinations, White said.

That’s not to say that the CVB hasn’t made an effort to get noticed by the host committee.

“We’ve notified them that we are available as an alternate destination,” said CVB marketing director Jessica Grace. “They know we’re here,” she said.

White said the CVB was approached by the host committee about marketing the destination for Super Bowl festivities, but the dollars spent would not generate that much interest in the Island because of the distance to Tampa and the stadium.

Additionally, the competing teams aren’t yet known.

“There’s not much time to market yourself as a destination to the fans of the competing teams, when they’ll first look to stay in cities closer to the stadium and festivities,” White said.

“But we’ll still get some people,” Grace said. “We have a pretty good reputation for people looking for peace and quiet, nice beaches and some great fishing.”

Chris Galati said recently that he wouldn’t mind seeing the Indianapolis Colts and head coach Tony Dungy make an appearance at Super Bowl.

As coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dungy often chartered fishing trips with Galati.

“I would contact Coach Dungy to fish if the Colts made the Super Bowl,” said Galati.

Maybe now Dungy has time for a vacation on AMI.