Position: Vice President of Sports Development at the Florida Sports Foundation
Liese Abili is an accomplished leader and seasoned professional with the Florida Sports Foundation (FSF). He first began with FSF in 2018 as the Director of Sports Development. He was quickly promoted to Vice President of Sports Development due to his extraordinary expertise in partnership building, cross-functional collaboration, program management, and team and operational leadership. Liese identifies and fosters the growth of sporting events, new partnerships, and businesses in Florida and internationally, generating substantial economic impact and opportunities for the state and the Foundation. Beyond his notable and numerous skills, he brings an indelible work ethic and genuine pride to everything he does at the Foundation. His ability to cultivate and nurture strong relationships between agencies, businesses, industry partners, and sports commissions creates mutual success for all involved, boosting the reputation and credibility of FSF and the State of Florida with every interaction.
Liese has helped generate over $146.5 billion in economic impact for the state during his time at the Florida Sports Foundation. He promotes and enhances major events, including the Florida Sports Summit and the Governor’s Baseball Dinner. He has restructured and reinvented the Foundation’s participation in sports trade shows and conferences through partner co-opt and buy-in programs. Liese Abili helps solidify Florida’s role as a premier sports destination on a national and international stage.
Liese also led the growth of FSF’s partnerships and Florida Sports Commissions from 27 to 41 partners in just three years. This impressive evolution was primarily due to his creation of programs that feature partners and provide financial support for events through an existing comprehensive grant program that brings sporting events to Florida. Over three years, Liese helped distribute more than $12 million in grants to these industry partners. Working with Convention and Visitors’ Bureaus, Tourism Development Councils, Board of County Commissioners, Destination Marketing Officers, Sports Commissions, and other governmental agencies, the Foundation has developed and expanded access to sporting activities and events in the state. Key events that generate significant economic impact for Florida include the AAU Junior Olympics, National College Championships, World Athletics Cross-Country Championships, King of The Court Volleyball Championships, Major League Soccer All-Star Game, and many more.
Liese has developed and implemented a host of programs and guides to boost efficiency at FSF. He created the digital Florida Sports Facilities Guide, which provides information needed by organizations interested in booking events in the state. With easy-to-access facility information, the guide makes Florida an even more desirable location for every type of sporting activity.
Liese has made significant contributions to the Florida Sports Foundation by exemplifying the Foundation’s mission and vision through every partnership, team success, and event he touches.