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List drums up Super Bowl business

A disc jockey is one of many on a resource list of minority- and women-owned businesses provided to the NFL.

By SHARON BOND

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 25, 2000


ST. PETERSBURG -- Felix Figueruelo, who describes himself as a disc jockey for upscale events, expects Super Bowl Sunday to yield about $2,300 for his company, Felix's Professional DJ Service.

"I've got about 10 contracts pending," Figueruelo said.

His name and more than 50 other south Pinellas County businesses are included in a resource list of minority- and women-owned firms. The Tampa Bay Task Force for Super Bowl XXXV prepared the list for the National Football League, which hopes spending connected with the football championship will be spread around greater Tampa Bay. Since 1994 the NFL has tried to steer Super Bowl business to smaller companies.

The St. Petersburg Area Black Chamber of Commerce urged its members to contact the task force for business prospects. Possible needed services number nearly 70 and range from limousines, novelties and audiovisual to destination management, general labor, janitorial services and computer rentals.

Figueruelo, who is Cuban, has Super Bowl experience. He worked all day at a rented hall for a large, Super Bowl party in 1991, the last time the game was in Tampa.

Felix's Professional D.J. Service of St. Petersburg was hired to entertain 300 to 400 guests before and after they watched the football game on television. Figueruelo made about $500, he said.

Now that he has nearly 10 years more experience as an event disc jockey, his fee will be higher, in the $2,000 range, he said. He will take the first of the pending contracts that meets his price, he said. If none do, he is happy to watch the game at home with his wife and baby.

Working as a disc jockey is Figueruelo's second job. His first is at an audiovisual company in St. Petersburg.

"I play music for people to dance. There's no talk between songs. I don't do games," he said of his second job. "My music is not around the hokey pokey, the chicken dance or YMCA."

The task force, based in Tampa, held workshops to help companies qualify for the NFL pool. The league asked that all companies be certified as minority- or women-owned, said Stephanie Owens Royster, director of community opportunities. Certification can come from local or county government or a group such as the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Barbara Argyros, owner of Lithotec Commercial Printing in Pinellas Park, said her name ended up on the list because she is certified by the state of Florida. So far she hasn't gotten any business from the Super Bowl.

Lorian S. Williams is completing several proposals she hopes will yield business from the football championship. Already she created a design for 504 mugs bought by the task force. She declined to say how much she made on the mugs, describing the order as a typical one for her company, Chaslo Merchandise & Printing Corp. in St. Petersburg.

"The process can be very long," Williams said. "You have to keep at it."

Some jobs can't be done early.

"For the Super Bowl, a number of events have to be planned ... later because we don't know who the teams are," said Aaron Doerges, assistant to the director of community opportunities.

He also said it is up to the companies on the list to promote themselves. The NFL sanctions the list but all it can do is encourage companies to use the minority- and women-owned businesses, Doerges said.

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