Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Oren Koules supports hiring GM's wife for PR

The Lightning recently made a hire that owner Oren Koules said is about centralizing the team's brand in its dealings with sponsors and suite and season-ticket holders. Even so, bringing on Angelina Lawton, wife of general manager Brian Lawton, as head of corporate communications seems awkward at first glance, especially at a time the company has laid off seven employees.

And especially when one of those cut was head of marketing Mark Gullett, responsible for last summer's successful "Seen Stamkos?" campaign, and whose dismissal grabbed national attention when his son, Ben, posted a video resume for him on YouTube.

But Koules said no one was laid off so Angelina Lawton could be hired. And by the way, he added, she is doing a terrific job.

"I am committed to having our brand become a brand," Koules said. "I needed someone to corral that brand, and talking to her and meeting her, I thought she was a great person to do it."

Angelina worked in a similar capacity for about 10 years at her father's Minneapolis investment firm. Koules said Angelina reports to him, not her husband, and she got kudos from the owner for designing a slick season-ticket renewal brochure and the light pole banners outside the St. Pete Times Forum.

"That was a little bit of a test run," Koules said of the brochure, "which convinced me she was the right person."

Koules said hiring Angelina is part of a larger strategy to bring all aspects of the team's corporate communications — concept, design and, eventually, printing — in-house. Doing so, he said, will shorten turnaround time, substantially cut costs and create efficiencies by eliminating outside vendors.

It is a model the Canadiens followed with success, team spokesman Donald Beauchamp said.

"It's kind of a brand manager to make sure everything that comes out of this building, all the communications is the same and everyone is on the same page," Koules said of Angelina's mandate.

So, was the timing awkward? Perhaps.

But bottom line, Koules said, hiring Angelina was smart business.

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Oren Koules supports hiring GM's wife for PR 03/21/09 [Last modified: Saturday, March 21, 2009 11:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Alex Volkov with a top-six showcase for Lightning


    Alex Volkov entered Lightning camp a bit of an unknown, the second-round pick from Russia in his first NHL camp.

    Alex Volkov (79) works to stop Florida Panthers center Denis Malgin (62) during the second period of Sunday's game in Tampa.
  2. How Jameis Winston's turnovers doomed the Bucs again


    The Bucs' rise or fall is based on the play of quarterback Jameis Winston. His failure to take care of the football was arguably the biggest factor in their 34-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings Sunday.

    Jameis Winston has turned the football over 25 times in 17 road games. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
  3. HomeTeam 25: Volleyball rankings for Tampa Bay

    Volleyball Preps

    1. Plant (6-1)

    Fivay's Kirbea Harrell leads her team in kills and digs this season. (Lance Rothstein, Times)
  4. NCAA coaches among 10 charged with fraud and corruption


    NEW YORK — Four college basketball coaches were among those facing federal charges Tuesday in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said.

    In this March 15, 2012, file photo, San Diego State assistant coach Tony Bland, left, talks during NCAA college basketball practice in Columbus, Ohio. Bland was identified in court papers, and is among 10 people facing federal charges in Manhattan federal court, Tuesday in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said. [AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File]