San Jose Sharks Territory: Changes And Additions

Women's Professional Hockey players Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne.

This season, there has been a lot going on in San Jose Sharks Territory. Some of it related to the hockey team, but not central to it. We’ll cover some of the highlights here.

San Jose Sharks Art Work

The Sharks debuted a pair of new art pieces. One is a massive mural on a building visible from the SAP Center (aka the Shark Tank), the other an outdoor shark fin sculpture on the grounds of Shark Tank.

The art critic in me loves the mural (the artist is Nychos) and wonders why they made a large silver shark fin (artist Oleg Lobykin). At the very least, the fin deserves a better location than the sidewalk by the parking lot entrance. But art being subjective, fans will render their verdict.

New Hires With A Difference

The Sharks also made a pair of intriguing hires. In the broadcast booth, the team added Kendall Coyne Schofield. There are not many women in NHL broadcast booths, and Coyne Schofield now has a broadcast home. Many will recall she had a career-changing moment at the skills competition during the NHL All-Star weekend when she appeared in the fastest skater competition. Coyne Schofield’s lap was electric and elicited an enormous crowd response. She (and the three other women) gave the sleepy event a massive energy boost and were the biggest stars of the weekend.

The second intriguing hire is their new scout, Ned Colletti. Colletti is 65 and has held a variety of executive positions – just not in hockey. His career came in baseball, including general manager stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. Can an executive from another sport be an effective scout for an NHL team? There’s likely a good bit more to the story than a scouting job, but it is an unconventional move.

A Twist For Fan Fest

The Sharks annual FanFest event is held shortly before the start of the regular season. This season, it features a hockey game with an unusual match-up. In this case, members of the San Jose Sharks alumni group skating against a team from the PWHPA. That’s right, top players from professional women’s hockey. Including the aforementioned Coyne Schofield, who decided a bit of trash-talking was in order.

Sign Of The Times

One of the bigger events indirectly impacting the team is the opening of the Chase Center venue in San Francisco, the new home for the Golden State Warriors.

With three venues in the Bay Area, competition for major events will increase and SAP Center will need to appeal more to the community it serves most closely. For the first time in over 25 years, SAP Center is not the newest and shiniest venue in the area. Sharks ownership is also responsible for operating SAP Center. The business side of the Sharks faces their own version of increased competition.

The San Jose Sharks have embedded themselves in their community in San Jose. The sorts of things done by the Sharks show a combination of innovation and community connection. Whether it is providing more prominence to women in hockey or adding artwork, these are win-win ways to expand the fan base. The headlines will mostly come from what happens on the ice, but it is important to credit the organization for doing things to broaden the Sharks appeal and improve the brand.

 

San Jose Sharks Territory Main Photo:

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 22: Gold medal winners Kendall Coyne #26 and Hilary Knight #21 of the United States celebrate after defeating Canada in a shootout in the Women’s Gold Medal Game on day thirteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre on February 22, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)