Sales Disruptors: How San Jose Sharks President Jonathan Becher Is Innovating the Fan Experience Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic

+ more

 

Jonathan Becher, President of the San Jose Sharks, likes to say he isn’t the president of the San Jose Sharks.

It’s not a tactic to avoid getting recognized at Starbucks. For Becher, it’s just the truth. His true title is President of Sharks Sports and Entertainment, with his purview extending past the National Hockey League team to the minor league franchise, facilities, a non-profit and other wings of the business.

Still, men skating and using sticks in an attempt to get a rubber disk past a man with a glove drives most of their business. So, when the actual hockey stops, as it has during the coronavirus pandemic, what do you do to keep fans connected? If you’re Becher, you adapt.

“I don’t think we’re in the business of putting on a hockey game,” he said. “What we’re actually in the business of is making memories.”

Of course, that can be watching Evander Kane light the lamp in the third period, but Becher and his team are thinking of different ways for fans to make memories. It’s meant diving in to areas the team previously eschewed, like simulated games using a video game platform.

The team has given some fans the opportunity to create an avatar and “suit up” next to their favorite Sharks players during the games the team puts out on its Twitch channel.

“They’ve been surprisingly, to me anyway, because I’m not a gamer, popular,” Becher said. “Partly, I think it’s because we did some cool stuff.”

One fan, after his digital alter ego scored the winning goal, posted on social that it was the best experience of his life. Another memory made thanks to the Sharks – without the team even taking to the physical ice. Those moments are just one of the innovations Becher believes will be “sticky” and carry over once the team is able to play games again.

“Here’s a new line of business that didn’t occur to us before, that was born out of necessity because of this disruption, and which we will continue even long after live games are back, because not everyone can be in our building in one night,” he said.

Xactly is proud to live on the leading edge of sales performance management, and our podcasts give us a way to share that insight with you directly. For more thought-leading episodes of Sales Disruptors by Xactly, check us out on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Follow us on social media for the latest updates in B2B!
Twitter – @MarketScale
Facebook – facebook.com/marketscale
LinkedIn – linkedin.com/company/marketscale

Latest

Empowering Better Communication among Community Healthcare Stakeholders
April 23, 2021
The challenges healthcare executives and administrators face are constantly changing. Host Kevin Stevenson talks with the heroes behind the heroes that are enabling hospitals, urgent care centers and telemedicine Read more
How a Year of Disruption Bred Unprecedented Innovation in Education
April 23, 2021
How do you extrapolate insights on pandemic leadership, the role of women in EdTech, and the dynamics of Zoom in just over 20 minutes? Listen to Kelli Campbell, President of Discovery Education as she Read more
The Valve Chronicles: Pressure Control Guideline Differences in Aircraft Fueling Operations Between the US & Europe, Part 2
April 22, 2021
  On this episode of The Valve Chronicles’ look at the differences in aircraft fueling operations between the US and Europe, Cla-Val’s Tom Boriack, Global Market Manager for Fueling, and Richard Hooton, Market Read more