For all the benefits they offer children, organized sports are often an expensive proposition — putting sports out of reach for many of the young people who need them the most.
That’s where the Sports Business and Leadership Association comes in. Based in Tampa, the national organization aims to not only bring together industry professionals to discuss sports business issues, but also to help raise money to provide children with a new outlook on life through the common medium of sports.
“The big goal we have is inspiring kids to overcome adversity and achieve their goals,” says David Lisko, president and chairman of the board of directors for the SBLA, and an attorney in Holland & Knight’s Tampa office. “We try to give them a positive experience through sports, but also just give them some confidence about who they are and what they can do.”
The SBLA takes children to professional sports games, provides funding for them them to attend sports camps and tournaments, and offers time for confidence-building talks with local leaders like WWE Superstar Titus O’Neil. Steve Krivan, a grandfather of two young boys who participate in the SBLA, says the opportunities his grandchildren have received through the organization were life-changing.
“They had never gone to a professional football game before, and they just had a tremendous time,” Krivan says. “They’ll never forget that experience. Having something like this makes me feel good that other people care. When people reach out, it makes the boys feel important.”