TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Nearly 600 people got amped up for college football season on Thursday and attended a luncheon with the University of South Florida Bulls.
The inaugural USF football luncheon was held at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Tampa. Anyone was invited to attend and it drew about 560 people, including the entire football team.
The goal was to bring the fans and the USF football players together.
“We had a Fan Fest last week, which is fun for the families, and we wanted to have something here that is really convenient for the downtown Tampa business folks,” said Michael Kelly, the vice president of athletics at USF.
Each member of the football team sat at a table and ate lunch with fans who attended.
“It is something Coach Strong really wanted to do and have a way to not only help us all promote the season coming up…but again to help our program,” Kelly told 8 On Your Side’s Gabrielle Shirley. “We cannot expect the community to engage with us if we do not engage with them and this is a great way to give more information about our football program.”
“It is a new method of engagement that we wanted to make sure we had here in the Tampa Bay community,” he added. “It was one of the promises I made when I came here last year. How do we find ways to expand our brand? How do we make a bigger impact in the Tampa Bay community? This is one step in that direction”
The USF Bulls begin their season Friday, Aug. 30 against Wisconsin. The game is slated to begin at 7 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
MORE USF BULLS COVERAGE: