TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning and Pepsi, are teaming up to help fans "Be the Distant Thunder" as the Bolts continue into the Eastern Conference Final. Pieces of glass from the rink system at AMALIE Arena signed by the Lightning players were left behind in Tampa to bridge the gap with fans to the Hub City. Pepsi is bringing the glass into the market as part of custom, Lightning-themed Pepsi displays at select local Walmart retail locations and through a fan auction with Papa John's Pizza for the month of September.
Fans will have the chance to take home a piece of team-signed glass through a virtual silent auction hosted by the Lightning Foundation in late September with proceeds benefitting Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, as part of Papa John's "Pizza for a Cause" campaign. Throughout the month, Bolts fans can also support the campaign, with one dollar from every large one-topping pizza going back to the Beat Childhood Cancer Foundation. The auction will also include one-of-a-kind autographed Lightning Hockey Fights Cancer memorabilia.
The auction will begin on September 16th at 9:00 a.m. at www.onboard4acause.givesmart.com.
"The goal of the Be the Distant Thunder campaign is to use what normally serves as a barrier, the glass, and transform it into a bridge between the fans and the team," Lightning senior vice president of content and brand strategy Eryn McVerry said. "Bringing the glass signed by the team into the community fully aligns with this mission. We are grateful for our great partners at Pepsi, Walmart and Papa John's for helping us bring this opportunity to Bolts Nation while also making an impact in the fight against pediatric cancer."
"We are immensely proud to be a part of the 'Be the Distant Thunder' campaign, an example of the commitment both Pepsi and the Lightning provide to our local communities and the fans" said Chauncey Hamlett, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for PepsiCo Beverages North America (South Division). "Having the opportunity to not only impact the lives of hockey fans, but also make a difference through the work being done with childhood cancer awareness is what makes this program and partnership special."
The Lightning launched the Be the Distant Thunder campaign on Monday, July 13, recognizing that even during the COVID-19 pandemic Bolts fans may be apart, but they are never absent. The campaign evolves the togetherness evoked by the team's iconic 'Be the Thunder' slogan to reflect the new reality the nation and world are living in. The All on Board call to action takes one of the unique aspects of hockey, the glass surrounding the rink, and provides an extraordinary opportunity to bring the fans with the team to the hub city for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.