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Governor Scott, Panthers And Lightning Launch Governor’s Cup

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Governor Rick Scott, the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning jointly announced today the creation of the Governor’s Cup – an annual competition between Florida’s two NHL franchises aimed at growing the pride and popularity of the sport in Florida while also supporting youth hockey.

The winner of the annual season series between the two Atlantic Division and in-state rivals will be awarded the Governor’s Cup following the final matchup of the season and each team will make a donation to the other team’s youth hockey initiatives. 

Governor Rick Scott said, “The Sunshine State is a national leader in sports, and the creation of the Governor’s Cup is great news for Florida hockey. This competition is an excellent way to highlight the opportunities that Floridians, and our visitors, have to enjoy all of the wonderful activities that our state has to offer.”

“We are thrilled to work with Governor Scott and the Tampa Bay Lightning organization to launch the Governor’s Cup,” said Panthers President & CEO Michael R. Yormark. “The Governor’s Cup is an important initiative for our organization as we look to help grow the sports of hockey in the state of Florida, cultivate the passion of our fans with this great in-state rivalry, and also benefit local youth hockey.”

“The Lightning are honored to partner with Governor Scott and the Florida Panthers to launch the Governor’s Cup this season,” said Lightning chief operating officer Steve Griggs. “Our history against the Panthers runs deep and competing for the Governor’s Cup is going to be another new, exciting element to this rivalry for our team and fans.”

The Governor’s Cup begins during the 2013-14 season with four games between the Panthers and Lightning – two in Tampa and two in South Florida. The 2013-14 Governor’s Cup schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Oct. 10, Panthers at Lightning, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 27, Lightning at Panthers, 5 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 23, Lightning at Panthers, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 13, Panthers at Lightning, 7:30 p.m.  

The winner of the Governor’s Cup is determined by the team with the most points during the four Governor’s Cup games (two points for a win, one point for an overtime or shootout loss, and zero points for a regulation loss). The first tiebreaker is goal difference.

The Governor’s Cup will be supported by a joint and fully-integrated marketing plan including an official logo, and exposure on television, radio, print, online, outdoor, through social media, and more. 

Sponsorships are available for the Governor’s Cup by contacting Florida Panthers Vice President of Corporate Sponsorships Matt Rickoff at 954-835-7827 or or Tampa Bay Lightning Sr. Vice President of Partnership Development & Activation Bill Abercrombie at 813-301-6541 or 

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The 2004 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning and the leasehold rights to the Tampa Bay Times Forum were purchased by an entity controlled by Jeffrey Vinik in March, 2010. Shortly thereafter, Vinik also purchased the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League. Since acquiring these assets, Vinik has spearheaded a complete brand and business transformation of the teams and the arena under the banner of Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, LLC. The organization’s “Lightning Community Heroes” and “C.H.A.R.G.E.” (Contributing Hours Across our Region through our Generous Employees) programs have become symbols of a community-first business approach.

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