TAMPA — Former Tampa Bay Lightning vice president of marketing Eric Blankenship has been named chief marketing officer for The Heights District, the Armature Works and the Tampa-based restaurant group BE-1 Concepts.
During more than five years with the Lightning, Blankenship, 45, was responsible for the team’s brand development, advertising, promotions, digital marketing, digital media, social media, live events, creative services and retail marketing. He’ll have a similar portfolio in his new job.
“Eric led efforts to develop one of the most-admired brands in the Tampa Bay Area and we look forward to his leadership as we look to elevate some already-strong local brands into something even bigger,” Chas Bruck, a co-owner of all three companies, said in announcing the hire Tuesday.
A Tampa native and a graduate of the University of South Florida, Blankenship was the chief marketing officer for Ruth Eckerd Hall prior to joining the Lightning.
“Eric will be responsible for creating and communicating the over-arching narrative that has been quickly developing on its own, while also focusing on revenue generation for all brands," BE-1 Concepts president Frank Scalfaro said.
BE-1 Concepts has six bars and restaurants at the Armature Works: BAR at Armature Works, Butcher N Barbeque, Steelbach, M.Bird, Cress and Stones Throw. It also runs Ciro’s Speakeasy & Supper Club on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa; Sea Critters Café at Pass-a-Grille in St. Petersburg; four Boca Kitchen, Bar & Markets in Tampa, Brandon, Sarasota and Winter Park; and Atlantic Beer & Oyster and Park Social in Winter Park.
“We have been growing at a rapid pace and have no desire to slow down,” Scalfaro said. "Now is the right time to bring someone of Eric’s pedigree to our family.”