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Visit Florida CEO: Pitbull's Payment A Trade Secret

Pitbull released the contract he had with Florida to promote the state.
Pitbull released the contract he had with Florida to promote the state.

Mr. Worldwide is an official ambassador of Florida, but just how much Florida taxpayers are paying Pitbull is still a trade secret, the CEO of Visit Florida said in an interview with WMFE. 

Ten of the eleven pages in the contract are blacked out in their entirety, except for a signature – even the name of Pitbull’s agent is considered a trade secret.

What was released: Pitbull is using the #LoveFL hash tag on social media, he will promote Florida during his New Year’s Eve concert in Miami and will film the Sexy Beaches video in Florida.

In an interview with WMFE, Visit Florida CEO Will Seccombe said the state got a good deal. He said Florida contracts with Repucom to evaluate major deals, and Repucom concluded Florida would get a $3 return on investment for every $1 spent on the Pitbull deal.

“This is not a deal done because we think it’s sexy and cool," Seccombe said. "This is a deal we’ve done because we think it has enormous opportunity to positively impact Florida.”

The state is using Pitbull’s brand to target Spanish speaking visitors as part of a plan to get to $100 billion in tourism spending by 2020, from $82 billion now. The ambitious goal is for Florida to become the No. 1 tourist destination in the world.

“In order to continue to grow, we have to look at niche audiences," Seccombe said. "Using a scalpel rather than a hammer and surgically targeting those audiences we need to continue to grow. And Pitbull is an extraordinary ambassador globally.”

Seccombe said Visit Florida also works with Emeril Lagasse on the Emeril’s Florida show, and with National Geographic to highlight hidden Florida travel destinations. He added that disclosing what Pitbull is paid would be a violation of the contract, and would cause Pitbull to cancel the deal.

Visit Florida is a public-private partnership that received $75 million in taxpayer dollars this year to promote Florida as a vacation destination. See below for a longer interview with Seccombe.

[audio mp3="http://www.wmfe.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Pitbull-Web-Extra.mp3"][/audio]