A New Professional Hockey Team

Permission was granted by the NHL to create a new professional hockey team in the Bay Area. When we were hired to launch the San Jose Sharks, they had no location, name, colors or team. The first game was 18 months away and hockey had bombed in the Bay Area in the 70s. Even so, our team was challenged to motivate the public to purchase season ticket deposits as proof of the efficacy of our communications campaign. Unrolling carefully measured public and community relations strategies designed to build credibility and momentum in the marketplace, deposits sold out in six weeks! The rest of the campaign was equally effective and the Sharks made their debut with an enormous following, acceptance as a peer among other professional sports teams and a national public profile.

We hired Mara and her team to help launch a new professional hockey team into the marketplace where there was already a lot of entrenched competition and little familiarity with our sport – either in the media or the market. Partnering with us as a virtual in-house team, they understood our business challenges and quickly helped us earn credibility as an established enterprise with sports enthusiasts, Northern California sub-communities, local and national media. Mara and her team were unquestionably critical to the early commercial and popular success of the San Jose Sharks.

- Matt Levine, Former Executive Vice President Marketing and Broadcasting, San Jose Sharks