20 Questions With Rob Higgins
In June 2004, the Tampa Bay Sports Commission named Rob Higgins its executive director. Higgins’ primary responsibility is to promote the development of community sports in the Tampa Bay area, as well as leading the Sports Commission, as the principal organization that bids on and hosts sports and entertainment events in Tampa Bay and Hillsborough County.
In the 16 years Higgins has held his position, the Tampa Bay area has successfully hosted and/or been awarded the following events: 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament, 2008 NCAA men’s basketball tournament first and second rounds, 2008 NCAA women’s Final Four, 2008 and 2009 ACC football championships, 2009 Southeastern Conference men’s basketball tournament, 2009 NCAA women’s volleyball championship, 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament second and third rounds, 2012 NCAA men’s hockey Frozen Four, 2015 NCAA women’s basketball Final Four, 2016 NCAA men’s Frozen Four, 2017 college football playoff national championship, 2018 NHL all-star game weekend, the 2019 NCAA women’s Final Four, WrestleMania 36, 2021 NFL Super Bowl LV and the 2022 SEC men’s basketball tournament.
Most recently, Higgins was named to the prestigious Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal “Forty Under 40” list.
1. College alma mater? University of South Florida.
2. Last book you read? Does my Twitter timeline count as a book? With Super Bowl LV now less than six months out I, unfortunately, haven’t had much time for many books recently, but Good to Great is my favorite and one I have read multiple times.
3. Last place you vacationed? We went on a cruise to St. Maarten and St. Thomas last summer (2019).
4. PC or Mac? PC.
5. Guilty-pleasure food? I love Italian food. Specifically, the meatballs at Sacred Pepper.
6. We’ll find you on the weekend doing? Watching my kids play sports. There’s nothing better than supporting them in everything they do. I also enjoy early morning fishing trips, when I can get out and then get back without missing anything.
7. Biggest fear? I don’t know if it’s my biggest fear, but the moment I’m dreading the most is when our kids go off to college.
8. Proudest moment? Personally, the birth of our kids. Professionally, when any event we have hosted decides to come back. If they like you, they will leave. If they love you, they will come back.
9. Dream dinner companion? That’s a tough one, but I would say Tom Brady. He’s the greatest of all time and he chose to come to Tampa to help win our Buccaneers a championship. Those are two pretty cool traits right there.
10. Any pets? None.
11. Who did you last text? My wife, Casey. We both stay really busy and going in different directions a lot of the time with work, and then our kids’ activities, but we always manage to stay connected.
12. What is your cellphone wallpaper image? A picture of our kids, Laney and Landon.
13. What do you listen to in the car? Usually sports talk, with our friends at WDAE. For others, might I suggest the “Tampa Bay 55” podcast, where Ryan Bass and I take listeners behind the scenes of the making of Super Bowl LV? Really subtle product placement!
14. What is your go-to drink order? Grey Goose vodka and soda at a bar/restaurant, but I’m known for the volume of cherry Coke Zeroes. I drink in the office.
15. Favorite candy?
Mike and Ike’s.
16. Do you suffer from Primenesia (the act of ordering from Amazon and forgetting about it)? Thankfully, no.
17. Pool or beach? Beach … specifically, the beautiful beaches in Pinellas County.
18. Charity you support? While most of our charitable efforts have been focused on education and youth, since that’s such a big building block of our society, our family has also tried to be a helping hand when there’s a specific case of someone in unexpected need/crisis (through GoFundMe or the like).
19. Favorite childhood memory? Being asked to be a ball kid for USF basketball. That really jumpstarted my passion for working in sports.
20. Words of advice? Own every moment. When you win moments, you can win days. When you win days, you can win weeks and so on. It all starts with individual moments.