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It's official: Campbell named senior advisor



As Times sports writer Damian Cristodero first reported on Thursday, Ron Campbell has been named a "special advisor" to Tampa Bay's new ownership group, and is no longer team president, a position he held since the summer of 1999.

Here is a news release issued by the team:

TAMPA BAY – Ronald J. Campbell has assumed the role of Special Advisor to the Ownership, the Tampa Bay Lightning organization announced today. Campbell, who became president in 1999, when William Davidson purchased the franchise, remains in his role as Executive Vice President for Palace Sports & Entertainment, based in Auburn Hills , MI . In his new role with the Lightning, Campbell will work to develop new business and community relationships, nurture existing relationships and work on NHL governance issues for the ownership led by Oren Koules and Len Barrie.

“We thank Ron for his willingness to remain engaged in the Lightning operation while we continue and complete the ownership transition and start to make our mark on Tampa Bay ,” said Oren Koules upon making the announcement. “His experience in building the franchise to what it is today is invaluable to us as we look to grow upon what is already here.”

Campbell expects to remain active on numerous boards and leadership committees in Tampa Bay and the state of Florida . He will assist ownership with its NHL interests as well, helping maximize revenue opportunities for the team as it positions itself for future successes.

“I look forward to working with Oren Koules, Len Barrie and the new ownership during the transition phase and beyond, building on the foundation that has been established in recent years,” said Campbell . “My hope is that Tampa Bay remains a very strong hockey market and we continue as a model franchise in the National Hockey League, on and off the ice.

“Additionally, I would like to thank Mr. Davidson and Tom Wilson for giving me a great opportunity here in Tampa Bay and I thank our management, employees and the players as well as our many business and civic partners and our fans for all of the successes we have been able to achieve,” said Campbell, whose nine-year tenure as president marked the longest such run in franchise history. “I have to believe our 2004 Stanley Cup championship will always be the number one professional highlight in my career, but I am especially proud of the impact our organization has made in the community including the activities of The Lightning Foundation and all of our charitable endeavors.”

In his nine years as President of the Lightning and the Times Forum, Campbell brought stability, credibility and a winning philosophy to the organization. During his reign, the facility was recognized annually as one of the most productive venues in the country and the Times Forum hosted two first and second rounds of the Men’s Basketball tournament, the Women’s Final Four, and the ACC Men’s Basketball Championships. It is currently slated to host the 2009 SEC Men’s Basketball Championships, the 2009 Women’s Volleyball Championships and the 2012 “Frozen Four” Men’s Hockey Championships.

“We would like to thank Ron for his tireless service and dedication to the Lightning and our Tampa interests,” said Tom Wilson, President and CEO of Palace Sports & Entertainment. “His energy, creativity and commitment to excellence led a once underachieving organization to a position of prominence and stature in the Tampa Bay community and the National Hockey League.”

In his continued role as Executive Vice President for Palace Sports & Entertainment, Campbell will re-engage himself in the company’s Auburn Hills-based business affairs, working on specially assigned projects at The Palace of Auburn Hills and its multiple divisions. Campbell started working for the Detroit Pistons in 1984 and he assumed his Executive Vice President’s role for the Pistons and The Palace in 1992.

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]


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