Tampa Bay Lightning Logo

Tampa Bay Lightning LogoTampa Bay Lightning Logo PNG

Lightning is a symbol of a direct threat. That’s why the team from Florida chose this emblem. The Tampa Bay Lightning emblem supports the spirit of tension, instills awe, and makes opponents nervous, as it’s uncertain when and where lightning will strike.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Brand overview

Founder:Vinik Sports Group, LLC
Tampa, Florida, U.S.

“Tampa Bay Lightning” is a hockey team located in Tampa, Florida. They play in the NHL’s Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. The franchise owes its existence to legendary Canadian hockey player Phil Esposito. In 1989, the NHL announced its plans to expand to 28 teams by 2000, and Esposito immediately decided that his residence, the sunny city of Tampa in Florida, was ideal for a new hockey franchise. Initially, Esposito convinced the NHL leadership to hold an exhibition match in Tampa between the “Los Angeles Kings” and “Pittsburgh Penguins,” featuring Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. The game took place in September 1990 at the Florida Suncoast Dome (a large indoor baseball arena). Although the result was not the best in NHL history, a record crowd of 25,000 spectators was happy to witness it. A month later, the NHL sent inspectors to Tampa, who concluded that the NHL would bring a hockey franchise to the region. Five weeks later, the city officially gained the right to join the league for the 1992-1993 season.

However, having obtained the franchise, Phil Esposito faced some problems, including a lack of funds to pay the entrance fee. Initial sponsors quickly changed their minds, and Esposito searched for new patrons. He was fortunate and found them in Japan. The owners of Kokusai Green invited Phil Esposito to their headquarters in Tokyo to discuss the details of the deal. As it’s said, further business meetings took place in Ginza (Tokyo’s most famous shopping and entertainment district), usually in hotel bars and almost always at night. Moreover, rumors circulated that the company planned to use the team as part of a money laundering scheme. Then Japanese multimillionaire Takashi Okubo invested in Tampa and bought the team’s rights from Phil Esposito, who served as the team’s general manager until 1998.

By the way, it was Phil Esposito who came up with the name for the NHL newcomer. The new franchise was named Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa Bay is a large harbor surrounded by the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater. As for lightning, it’s said that light shows rage in the sky around the bay more often than anywhere else in the world. According to Esposito, the team’s name came to him during a severe storm when hundreds of relentless lightning flashes lit up the sky. He depicted a silver lightning bolt in the main logo of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

From 1992 to 2012, the “Lightning” only once qualified for the playoffs. In the early years, the franchise owners invested almost $125 million in the club, but it didn’t bring a cent of revenue. The team was on the verge of bankruptcy. Unsurprisingly, the owners didn’t pay taxes and minimized operational expenses. Constant losses led to further erosion of fan interest, which faded year by year and finally reached a critical mark. The team’s management tried everything possible to bring fans back to the stands. Tampa’s bosses even signed an exclusive contract with Canadian goaltender Manon Rheaume, the first woman to play in the NHL. Things were so bad that Phil Esposito’s brother Tony became the club’s only scout for some time.

Significant changes occurred in the “Tampa Bay Lightning” before the 1998-99 season. The team was sold to American millionaire Art Williams. Changes also occurred in the club’s management: the Esposito brothers were fired, and the veteran players were replaced in favor of a young core of players.

In 2009, the team was sold to Boston banker Jeffrey Vinik.

The official mascot of the “Tampa Bay Lightning” is an anthropomorphic black and yellow lightning bug named Thunderbug.

Meaning and History

Tampa Bay Lightning Logo History

It is one of the youngest NHL franchises, founded in 1993. Four logos with a circle and lightning – that’s all the visual style heritage the team has accumulated to this time. The main authors are Phil Esposito (he suggested the lightning and inscription) and Lowell and Paul (they removed the Florida map from the background and replaced it with a clean circle). The modern version was adopted in 2011. Since then, it hasn’t left the hockey players’ gear, inspiring new achievements.

What is Tampa Bay Lightning?

It’s a professional hockey team from the USA. It’s based in Tampa, Florida, and plays at the Amalie Arena. The club, formed in 1992, is part of the Eastern Conference and plays in the NHL as part of the Atlantic Division.

1992 – 2001

Tampa Bay Lightning Logo 1992-2001

The original logo’s author was Phil Esposito himself. It featured a white lightning bolt inside a gray circle. Thanks to dark shadows, the lightning had a three-dimensional effect. The circle was trimmed with a white-blue contour. Moreover, the words “Tampa Bay” and “Lightning” were placed above and below, respectively. Despite different fonts, both signs were blue letters with a thin black outline.

2001 – 2007

Tampa Bay Lightning Logo 2001-2007

No significant changes were made to the 2002 badge design. In the new logo of “Tampa Bay Lightning,” darker blue and gray shades appeared without altering the elements’ shape. Specifically, the bright blue shade was replaced with a dark one, both in the name and the outline.

2007 – 2011

Tampa Bay Lightning Logo 2007-2011

On August 25, 2007, designers presented the third logo of “Tampa Bay Lightning.” Despite its similarity to previous logos, it had a more refined, modern, and professional look. The word “Lightning” disappeared, making the image clearer. The “Tampa Bay” inscription, in blue font, now has a bolder white outline.

2011 – today

Tampa Bay Lightning Logo 2011-Present

Jeff Vinik, the new franchise owner, initiated the logo update in 2012. He aimed to turn his club into a world-class hockey team, so he needed not just an ordinary hockey logo but a successful brand style. It depicts a zigzagging lightning flash, striking from top to bottom, going beyond the usual circle. It consists of three elements: two sharp rectangles and one elongated triangle, arranged to form zigzags.

Around the lightning, there are two semicircles forming an open ring (it’s not connected at the top and bottom). Moreover, the circle lines have different thicknesses: the right fragment is wide, and the left is narrow. This design technique gives the logo dynamism, as it demonstrates movement.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Interesting Facts

The Tampa Bay Lightning, or the Bolts, is a hockey team from Tampa, Florida. They started in 1992 and have quickly become one of the best teams in hockey.

  1. Quick to Win: They won their first Stanley Cup in 2004, only 12 years after they were formed. That’s fast for a new team.
  2. Winning Twice in a Row: They won the Stanley Cup again in 2020 and 2021, one right after the other. This shows they were the best team during those years.
  3. The Thunderdome: Before they moved to their current arena, they played at the Thunderdome in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was famous for having many people come to the games and even setting records.
  4. Amalie Arena: Now they play at Amalie Arena, which is known for being a great place for fans. They even have real lightning bolts that go off when the team scores.
  5. Famous Players: Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis are two of the Lightning’s best players. They helped the team win in 2004, and the team has retired their numbers to honor them.
  6. Helping Out: The Lightning helps a lot in their community through the Lightning Foundation. They support local charities and do good things for people around Tampa Bay.
  7. Finding Players: The team is skilled at finding players worldwide and helping them improve, which has helped them be successful.
  8. Smart Coaching: Jon Cooper is their coach, and he’s known for devising smart ways to play hockey that have helped the team win.
  9. Bolt Run: Every year, the Bolt Run is an event that helps people stay healthy and brings the community together. The money raised goes to charity.
  10. Celebrating Goals: At games, they count how many goals the Lightning scores and celebrate each with the fans, making the games fun.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have done a lot since they started. They win a lot, have fun traditions, and help out in their community. They’re a big deal in hockey and Tampa Bay.

Font and Colors

Tampa Bay Lightning emblem

The first three signs of the club’s visual style differ from the modern version: they contain a textual part. In the early logos, the inscription is double, as it includes the franchise’s full name – “Tampa Bay” (above) and “Lightning” (below). In the third version, developers removed part of the text: they left only the name of the locality – indicating the location.

Also, previous emblems differ from the current one by having a shadow to the right of the lightning. They replicate its zigzags, making the image voluminous, which is no longer present in the current version. The transition to a 2D format is associated with the need to adapt the emblem for printing on various media and convenient placement on the uniform.

Tampa Bay Lightning symbol

For the team’s name designation, designers used three types of fonts: italic, resembling handwritten text, and two straight, close to print. Thus, the inscriptions intersect with several font types: Komu A, Industry Black Italic, Duke, and Nomad. In the early logos, letter contours are outlined with thin lines, and in the third, they are with a wide stripe.

The emblem’s color palette is individual and consists of a specially developed blue shade called Tampa Bay Blue. It also includes white for contrast with the background. The black color, which is also the club’s official color, was excluded from the emblem in 2011.

Tampa Bay Lightning color codes

Tampa Bay BlueHex color:#00205b
RGB:0 32 91
CMYK:100 85 5 36
Pantone:PMS 281 C


Where Did the Name “Tampa Bay Lightning” Come From?

The name Tampa Bay Lightning originated from Tampa City’s unofficial status as North America’s fastest capital. That is, storms often occur here. It’s this character of the raging element that was transferred to the hockey club’s identity.

When Did “Tampa Bay Lightning” Change Its Logo?

The Tampa Bay Lightning club changed its logo in 2011. That’s when the most radical changes occurred because the franchise got a new owner who wanted to bring the team to the global level and started with a complete identity update.

Who Designed the Tampa Bay Lightning Logo?

The conceptual design of the logo belongs to the hockey player who helped Tampa get the franchise. It’s Phil Esposito. He came up with the emblem for the team and the name.

What Font is Used in the Tampa Bay Lightning Logo?

The franchise’s logo uses the NHL Tampa Bay Regular font. It’s based on three types of fonts: Industry Black Italic, Nomad, and Komu A.