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'Together We Will' Campaign Highlights Newly Energized Lightning Marketing Focus as Home Opener Approaches

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Together We Will marketing campaign is picking up momentum as the team prepares to open the 2009-10 home schedule at 7:30 p.m. tonight with a battle against the New Jersey Devils at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Softly launched into the market in late July, the Together We Will campaign features a refreshed focus on the team’s identity and its brand, highlighting the team’s logo.  The exterior of the St. Pete Times Forum itself has transformed over the last few months into a three-dimensional billboard for the team with signage consistent with the campaign towering 47 feet in height on the walls of the building, displays of players throughout the outdoor plaza, and the stage boasting the Lightning logo front and center.

Together We Will celebrates the fusion of our goals and our place within the Tampa Bay community as we enter the 2009-10 season,” said owner and governor Oren Koules. “Its mission reflects the organization’s recognition of the dedication of its fans and our desired involvement of the team in the Tampa Bay area. We will continue to proudly represent the community while encouraging fans to be a part of the team itself through the ethos of Together We Will.”

The vision for the campaign is being brought to life in the short term through several advertising mediums as well as a newly placed emphasis on creating and developing Lightning fans for life with more fan outreach initiatives than ever, including a youth hockey outreach program entitled “Lightning Made.”

“In bringing the Together We Will vision to life, we wanted to take the Lightning’s marketing somewhere it had not been before,” said Angelina Lawton, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and creator of the Together We Will concept. “With our own in-house design agency, we have the flexibility to move more quickly and on the cutting edge. We can do a better job at controlling our brand and this campaign is the start.”

The Together We Will campaign itself features groupings of 3-5 of the Lightning’s top players in nearly every placement, reinforcing the Together We Will direction and cohesion of the team. The clean, fresh look of the players in street clothes removes the uniform and the helmets, creating stronger facial recognition and player identity for the fans.

Launched earlier this month the Lightning Unplugged series is further testament to the accessibility of the team and its players. The monthly sessions will offer fans in neighborhoods across Tampa Bay the opportunity to meet various Lightning players and ask them questions in an open, casual, barrier-free environment.

This season, marketing is reaching hockey fans through a more integrated and innovative campaign than ever before, incorporating online advertising for the first time ever, strong television and radio advertising and promotions, and more prominent billboard placements than ever before. The refreshed approach and attention to emerging technologies acknowledges the growing trend of consumers utilizing the internet as their primary source of news and information. It also recognizes the diversity of Tampa Bay Lightning fans and therefore strategically reaches the numerous demographics that encompass the fan base.

The team’s viral marketing and social networking efforts are growing exponentially, led by an innovative Twitter strategy at twitter.com/TBLightning (@TBLightning), which is acknowledged as one of the top three Twitter sites in the NHL. While its primary purpose is to break news and direct fans to tampabaylightning.com for more information, the team has offered numerous behind-the-scenes glimpses with tweets posted by Coach Rick Tocchet, Owner Oren Koules, and GM Brian Lawton. As part of the Together We Will campaign, followers of the team’s Twitter page have been invited to vote on t-shirt designs for giveaways and grand prizes for trivia contests, involving them like never before in shaping the Lightning season.

The outdoor billboard campaign is scheduled to run for the entire season and it focuses on the most highly-trafficked areas in the area, including Tampa International Airport and the most traveled commuter routes in Tampa Bay. Additionally, more than 300 taxi cabs (owned by the Yellow Cab company) are adorned with the Lightning brand and its Together We Will messaging, literally giving the team rolling message boards on the streets of Tampa for the entire season.

The team has also developed a unique mobile marketing initiative with the creation of an interactive trailer complete with a 360 degree interior wrap, placing the individual at center ice with a view of fans behind the glass. The trailer features a point of purchase integrated into the unit and allows Lightning representatives to make appearances across Florida, transporting the hockey experience along with them to local neighborhoods.

Tampa Bay Lightning tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 813.301.6600 or by logging on to tampabaylightning.com. Single game tickets start as low as $15 and season tickets can be purchased for just $239, plus tax. The Lightning also has 10-game mini-plans and half season tickets available. Special individual offers include the CW 44 “Big Time on a Dime” package, which starts at $44 for two tickets, two hot dogs, two beers or sodas and one parking pass.

Together We Will Have a Great 2009-10 Season.

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