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CEO of Tampa startup launches Champa Bay Sports brand

Veronica Brezina

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Ben Sever poses behind a banner of the Champa Bay Sports. Photo courtesy of Ben Sever.

Tampa entrepreneur Ben Sever, CEO of startup eRemede, is launching his Champa Bay Sports brand -celebrating champions in Tampa Bay on and off the field. 

The term “Champa Bay” was coined by fans as the city emerged as a new title town, following the winning streaks from the local home teams –  the Tampa Bay Lightning winning the Stanley Cup, the Buccaneers defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, and the Tampa Bay Rays making it to the World Series in 2020. 

“One of the things I love about Tampa is that we have champions across the bay in world-class industries and tech innovation. We needed a brand that transcends that message,” Sever said about taking advantage of the recent wins.  

Sever, who has been a serial entrepreneur over the past 10 years, launched a website with clothing apparel that reflects the local teams, without the actual team logos (as he doesn’t have licensing agreements). The goal is to extend that to create apparel for companies that have a major presence in Tampa such as the University of South Florida, and large corporations. Champa Bay Sports (CBS) would donate a portion of the proceeds to a reputable charity to promote corporate social responsibility. 

Once Champa Bay Sports reaches a certain fundraising goal, it plans to approach the sports teams in becoming partners. 

The Champa Bay Sports brand has a range of existing partners. One partner is Camp, a Tampa-based boutique fitness studio; Sever said Camp is cobranding the apparel and is cross-marketing it on social media with Champa Bay Sports. The CBS Instagram page, which recently launched, has over 9,000 followers, while Camp has over 19,800 followers. 

The Champa Bay Sports logo. Photo courtesy of Ben Sever.

Other strategic partners include Modern Forbici Italian, American Social, Orange Theory and Omni Public Relations, according to the Champa Bay Sports website. 

Twice a month, CBS will cobrand with strategic partners for revenue-sharing, pop-up shops where the retail items are sold. 

CBS has roughly 40 team members, including those who sit on different boards within the company. The strategy team and operations are based in Tampa, and the retail manufacturing takes place in Oldsmar. 

With having the entrepreneurial mindset, Sever said he will be hosting build-a-business Shark Tank -style workshops. The workshops will allow undergraduate students to compete in building logos and pitching them to a panel of judges who then declare a winner. The winner is offered an internship at CBS. 

The exact dates of the pitch competition have not been determined. 

While managing the new brand and continuing the eRemede startup, Sever said there are parallels between the two. 

An app that allows doctors and patients to communicate with each other while keeping patient and doctor information private, eRemede was one of the first companies at the Tampa Bay Wave incubator. 

Sever said eRemede and CBS is a “perfect marriage” as eRemede has donated a monetary amount of over six figures to multiple local charities. 

CBS has already raised $125,000 for the company launch.   

CBS most recently raised $10,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through a Light The Night event. 

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