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by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning
Pepsi Bottling Group of Tampa Bay has signed a multi-year agreement with the Tampa Bay Lightning, providing for Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and an extended line-up of Pepsi’s No. 1-selling brands to be the exclusive carbonated soft drinks of the team and the St. Pete Times Forum, Lightning and Times Forum president Ron Campbell announced today. In addition, the agreement includes extensive marketing and activation elements for the Lightning, the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League and select events held at the arena.

“We are very pleased to welcome the Pepsi Bottling Group of Tampa Bay into the St. Pete Times Forum as one of our top sponsorship partners,” said Campbell upon making the announcement. “They will be a tremendous addition to our family and we look forward not only to Pepsi’s terrific array of carbonated products for guests at our events, but also to the marketing activation it will provide in growing the fan base of Hockey Bay, USA. In the end, I believe our new-found relationship creates great long-term opportunities for both partners.”

The sponsorship package, which went into effect on February 27, is the first-ever agreement between Pepsi and the Tampa Bay Lightning or the St. Pete Times Forum. One innovative, interesting and new aspect of this agreement calls for single-serve PET (plastic) bottles of Pepsi products to be sold in concession stands. This consumer-friendly approach will not only ensure a greater variety for patrons and visitors to the Forum, but also facilitate much faster service and consistency. In addition to clear consumer benefits, the St. Pete Times Forum is working with PBG and local agencies to ensure that recycling is part of the arena’s community commitment, helping to reduce solid waste and energy usage over time.

“The PBG organization, both here in Tampa and in the whole state of Florida, is ecstatic about our new relationship with the Lightning, Tampa Bay Storm, and the St. Pete Times Forum.” said Phil Porzio, VP and General Manager of PBG’s Southwest Florida Market Unit. “To be able to offer Pepsi products exclusively at all of the sporting events, concerts, and the myriad of other terrific events the Forum hosts each year is a fantastic way for Pepsi to reach our loyal consumers in the Tampa Bay area. We look forward to partnering with the Forum, the Lightning and the Storm for many successful years to come.”

New joint marketing and promotional plans include fleet advertising on Pepsi delivery trucks, billboards, grocery and convenience store promotions, fan giveaways, product sampling, and event presentations and school programs throughout Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. Additionally, the Pepsi Bottling Group has pledged extensive support to many of the charitable programs being developed and executed by the Lightning, through its non-profit entity, The Lightning Foundation. The Lightning Foundation and its partners contributed more than $2 million in cash and kind during the 2005-06 fiscal year while fulfilling its mission to advance amateur hockey, education and medical research for those in need in the Tampa Bay community.

Pepsi Bottling Group ( is the world’s largest manufacturer, seller and distributor of Pepsi-Cola beverages with operations in U.S., Canada, Greece, Mexico, Russia, Spain and Turkey.

The Tampa Bay Lightning entered the National Hockey League in 1992 and have captured two Southeast Division Titles (2003, 2004) and a Stanley Cup (2004) in only 13 seasons. The2006-07 Lightning, featuring the league’s leading goal scorer in Vincent Lecavalier, have qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.

The St. Pete Times Forum, located in downtown Tampa in the Channelside District, is a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue, with a capacity of up to 21,500. It is the home of the 2004 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning hockey club and the former World Champion Tampa Bay Storm arena football team, and hosts more than 200 events annually. Such events include: concerts from top performers around the world, ice shows, circuses, rodeos, wrestling and sporting events such as basketball, soccer, boxing, tennis and many others. From NHL hockey and arena football to Kenny Chesney and the Rolling Stones, the St. Pete Times Forum has something for everyone.

The St. Pete Times Forum has ranked among the top five arenas in North America in tickets sold to concerts, events and family shows for the past five years.

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