Greg Wolf raises his voice while entertaining Tampa Bay Lightning, USF fans

Greg Wolf wanted his opinion. As he accompanied his brother, a restaurant employee, during a delivery to a radio station in Saint Petersburg one morning in 1996, he was listening to flight attendants discuss how men generally don’t like shopping.

Wolf, whose mother was in the fashion industry, disagreed with the view expressed. Soon after he and his brother arrived at the station, Wolf entered into a friendly discussion with the ladies. Next thing he knew, he was engaged in an on-air discussion.

We forget that co-hosts Lynn Austin and Brenda Lee were girl horns and ex play boy Models. Wolf had a point to make, and suddenly, he had an audience to make.

“When we got to the studio, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut,” Wolf recalls. “There was this natural banter between me and the ladies, and I loved it. It was a great back and forth.”

A quarter of a century later, Wolf is still silent. The 46-year-old’s voice is heard loud and clear as the in-game host at Tampa Bay Lightning and University of South Florida football and men’s and women’s basketball games.

That’s pretty much how Wolfe’s career has progressed. It began with an internship at WBDN-AM after Austin and Lee asked if such an opportunity existed at the station.

“My foot was in the radio door,” said Wolf, who was 20 at the time.

The station was sold shortly thereafter, but not before Woolf gained valuable experience with everything involved in the operation. That experience, and the contacts he made, were fundamental in opening doors to employment opportunities.

One such opportunity was with Lightning in 2006. Mark Gullett, who headed the marketing department for WiLD-FM, which Wolf joined after selling WBDN, was the marketing director for the NHL club. Eventually, he brought in Wolf to work as the team’s marketing coordinator responsible for everything from handling sponsorships to hosting pre-match entertainment outside the arena.

One night during the 2006-07 season when none of the team’s hosts were available, Wolf volunteered to fill the game.

“I loved every minute of it,” said the Maryland native. “I’m like, ‘I can’t believe I’m actually doing this. ” I enjoyed “.

The following season, 2007-08, with both hosts relocating, Gullit turned to Wolff to take over for the Lightning and Tampa Bay Storm in the Arena Football League.

“I kind of fell for the role,” he said.

It didn’t last long, though. In June 2008, film and television producer Oren Collis and former NHLer Len Barrie bought the team. They made several changes, including the in-game presentation.

Wolf was outside, which led him back into the airwaves. In 2009, he started as promotional director for sports radio WDAE-AM and sister station WFLA-AM News Radio, the flagship of Lightning.

“Coming off the radio, a lot of people were familiar with me,” he said. “It was a great transition.”

It turned out to be pretty cool for Wolf and the others when Jeff Vinik bought Lightning in February 2010.

Today, attending a Lightning game is a quality entertainment experience from the time the team takes the ice to the last bell. That wasn’t necessarily the case when Finnick took over. Despite this, the new owner had fans of his management team in many areas, including the game experience. This eventually led to Wolff returning as an effective host in the abridged 2012-13 season.

“I’ve been asked to come back,” said Wolf, who has hosted several community-related events across the Bay Area and participated in the Tampa Bay Rays. “I never wanted to leave in the first place. To be able to come back, that doesn’t happen often in sports.”

Wolf has been around ever since and collected a few Stanley Cup episodes, which he’s not shy about showing off during his pre-game routine.

“I love everything I do one night, but what I enjoy the most is walking around and interacting with the crowd,” said Wolf, who has been in football and basketball games since 2014. Our fans But our fans are different. I really enjoy the family environment in this community, but also in this building. Walking around the Amalie Arena feels like home.”

John Franzon, Lightning’s vice president of game delivery, noted that Wolf is a key member of the “Game-night family.” The band includes National Anthem singer Sonia Bryson Kirksey, public address announcer Paul Porter, organist Christoph Srebrakovsky, pre-game and break host JB Peterson and reporter Gabe Shirley, who joined the crew this season.

“Greg is a skilled professional,” said Franzon, at the age of fourteeny season with the team. “He’s able to elevate a moment in his own unique way. He relaxes the guests and the contestants, and I think that’s part of his strongest suit. He connects with people in the last row. He’s a guy who talks to you, not just someone else providing a copy.”

Wolff traveled with the team to Sweden in November 2019 to serve as the in-game host for the Ericsson Globe, where the Lightning and Sabers played a pair of games as part of the NHL’s Global Series. He also served as a host at several All-Star gaming events in Las Vegas this year.

“To be on the league’s calling list, so to speak, events like this is humbling,” he said.

Wolf continued his roles with WDAE and WFLA until 2016 when he began investing more time in Street Laced Marketing and Promotions, a company he co-founded in 2006 with business partner Blaise Potts.

The company’s operations include deejay booking, social media campaigns and event hosting. Need a bounce house for a backyard party, or vendors for a church carnival? Street Laced, which handles entertainment at Bucs Beach outside Raymond James Stadium on game days, can meet these needs as well.

“We built ourselves as a one-stop shop,” said Wolf, noting that the company has 42 deejays within its network. “There is no need to contact many different people. We can have sound, stage, lightning, deejays and artists. We can do everything.”

Starting with that morning on the radio with Austin and Lee, it seems Wolf has done it all. It is a professional experience he shares with mass communication students at his alma mater.

“I was once one of them, sitting in that classroom,” he said. “I would like to tell them about my career. The message I have for them is that if an opportunity arises, whether at that moment you feel it will benefit you or not, take it because you never know what it might lead to in the future. If I don’t go to the radio station with my brother and don’t I never talk, would that have led to any of this?”

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