After making three brand and business-transforming announcements in the past two weeks, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced during its game tonight against the Washington Capitals that Stanley Cup-winning captain Dave Andreychuk and team founder Phil Esposito are both expanding their roles with the organization, joining the management team as vice presidents. Andreychuk becomes vice president of fans while Esposito becomes vice president of corporate relations.
Andreychuk currently works as community representative while Esposito works as a radio color commentator for the team’s home broadcasts. Both will continue in their current roles while taking on additional responsibilities for the remainder of the season and the future.
“We are excited that both Dave and Phil have elected to enhance their roles with the organization,” said CEO Tod Leiweke. “As we continue to position the organization for long-term success, the appointment of both Lightning legends to the management team will allow us to work more intimately with our fan base. As our most prominent faces in the community, nobody knows our fans better than these men and we look forward to giving our fans a daily voice in the business through them.”
In his new role, Andreychuk will work directly on the ticket sales campaigns to retain current season ticket holders and assist in cultivating new accounts for the Lightning. He will participate in senior staff meetings, being offered the opportunity to learn every aspect of the sports and entertainment business.
“As our number one stakeholders, our season ticket holders deserve benefits and experiences that nobody else can receive,” said Andreychuk. “I’d like to help this organization thank our great fans and I also appreciate the opportunity to learn all I can about the business of hockey with a goal of growing my off-the-ice career.”
Esposito, who founded the franchise and served as general manager for the organization’s first seven seasons, becomes an advisor to the Lightning executive team, while also assisting in the suite sales process. He will work alongside the organization’s sales staff to identify suite and premium ticketing prospects with a goal of increasing the numbers of suite holders in the St. Pete Times Forum.
“I’d like to thank (Chairman and Governor) Jeff (Vinik) along with Tod for growing my role with the franchise,” said Esposito upon accepting his new position. “Having founded the Lightning 20 years ago and seeing it win the Stanley Cup in 2004, I know how successful we can be here in Tampa Bay. This new role gives me more of a chance to help us succeed.”