The awards keep rolling in for the Buccaneers. In addition to their Super Bowl success in 2020, the Pro Football Writers of America have named the Buccaneers' Communication staff as winners of the 2021 Pete Rozelle Award.
Named for the former NFL commissioner who got his start in the public relations sector, it is given to the staff that, "consistently strives for excellence in its dealings and relationships with the media."
Led by Vice President of Communications Nelson Luis, the Bucs' communications department includes Michael Pehanich, director, Christopher King, senior manager, along with coordinators Andrew Holman and Danielle Burns. This is the third time Tampa Bay's staff has won the award since its inception in 1990, with the last time coming in 2003, after the team's last Super Bowl win. The Bucs' staff won the award for the first time after the 1997 season and was also a finalist in 2017 and in 2000.
The 2020 season was one full of many unique challenges thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic but Luis and his staff made the transition to an exclusively virtual platform seamlessly, despite the fact that only part of the staff was able to consistently be in the Bucs' facility. From training camp through the playoffs and into the Super Bowl, the availability of players and coaches was plentiful thanks to their efforts, facilitating multiple days of head coach availability on top of coordinators and relevant players. Making it all the way to the championship meant even more media asks, which the team handled as the entirety of Super Bowl media week was done virtually.
Not only did the communications staff connect media with players, but also provided football information every step of the way, beginning with the team's annual media guide and continuing with weekly press information releases and special releases for each round of the playoffs.
The Pete Rozelle Award is voted on by members of the PFWA, which is made up of both local and national media. Over his 14 collective years with Bucs, Luis has cultivated relationships with media across the board. Pehanich is entering his 10th year with the team come the start of the 2021 season, while King is in his ninth year. Both Holman and Burns were communication interns with NFL teams (Holman with the Bucs, Burns with the Vikings) prior to starting full-time positions in Tampa Bay.
Congratulations to all!