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Lightning announce pair of partnerships

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning today announced two partnership agreements with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and CDW. BCBSF returns as an invaluable member of the Lightning team while CDW joins the team for the first time.

"We are extremely happy to have these great companies on our growing list of world-class partners," Chief Operating Officer Steve Griggs said. "The Lightning are very pleased to continue growing our relationship with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, consistently one of our top-tier partners. Not only do they provide the Lightning and its employees with world-class healthcare coverage, but BCBSF also helps us reach our goals in the community with educational programs that teach the advantages and importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

"With all the great things the organization accomplished with the renovations to the St. Pete Times Forum this summer, CDW played a very important role in providing televisions that enhance our fans' experience. We would like to sincerely thank both of these great partners for helping us in our goal to become world-class."

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida returns as the exclusive health insurance provider of the Tampa Bay Lightning and St. Pete Times Forum. Along with the Lightning, BCBSF is a pioneer of the Fit Families for Life program, which teaches Academy Preparatory School students and staff how to combat the obesity problem. They also learn and apply vital knowledge about exercise and nutrition that will empower them to be fit for life through important lifestyle changes. BCBSF will also be the presenting sponsor of the Lightning Health Tip Challenge. The Health Tip Challenge is an online and mobile health-related trivia quiz that tests consumers' health and wellness knowledge. Fans are asked to answer a series of three questions with the chance at winning a VIP fan experience.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida is honored to be continuing our corporate sponsorship with the Tampa Bay Lightning, said Mark S. Lee, vice president, brand development and marketing communications for BCBSF. "By continuing this partnership, BCBSF will carry on our corporate mission of giving back to our communities while improving the quality of health and wellness for all Floridians. BCBSF is 'In the pursuit of health' and we are delighted to team with the Lightning as they pursue the Stanley Cup."

BCBSF is one of 39 independent locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies and is part of the BCBS System, the nation's oldest and largest family of health benefits companies, representing the full spectrum of healthcare coverage.

Under their agreement with the Lightning, CDW has provided more than 300 flat-screen, high-definition LG televisions that were part of the St. Pete Times Forum's $40 million renovation this summer. The televisions have been dispersed throughout the Promenade and Terrace Levels, common areas on the Club and Suite Levels, as well as in the new restaurant that is still under construction. Each of the newly-renovated executive suites also features two of CDW's new LG televisions. The addition of these state-of-the-art televisions is a major upgrade from the tube ones that were displayed at the Times Forum prior to the agreement between the Lightning and CDW. As part of the partnership, CDW will also receive various marketing elements.

"CDW is proud to partner with LG Electronics to enhance the Lightning fan experience by installing stylish and innovative HD-Displays at St Pete Times Forum," said Michael Bock, Tampa Branch Manager for CDW. "We are excited about our partnership with the Lightning, and we look forward to helping the team gain a competitive edge through the use of technology."

CDW is a leading provider of technology solutions for business, government, education and healthcare. Ranked No. 38 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies, CDW features dedicated account managers who help customers choose the right technology products and services to meet their needs. The company's solution architects offer expertise in designing customized solutions, while its advanced technology engineers assist customers with the implementation and long-term management of those solutions. CDW was founded in 1984 and employs more than 6,400 coworkers and has a Florida branch office one block from St Pete Times Forum on Harbour Island. For the trailing twelve months ended June 30, 2011, the company generated sales of $9.2 billion. For more information, visit CDW.com/tampa.

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