SBD/December 13, 2013/Franchises

Sharks COO Focused On Marketing Efforts, Partnerships With Area Teams, Arena Upgrades

SAP Center is among San Jose's biggest tourism drivers
Sharks Sports & Entertainment COO John Tortora is aiming to "redefine the company's priorities" six months after a "major management shakeup" at the company, according to Lauren Hepler of the SILICON VALLEY BUSINESS JOURNAL. The Sharks' ownership group in '12 said that the team lost $15M during the '11-12 season. That figure was "substantially higher last year, when a lockout claimed the first half of the NHL season." Tortora "declined to specify exactly how much he aims to increase team revenue or decrease financial liabilities, but he said team owners will not accept backsliding." He plans to "prioritize marketing during the company's budgeting process for next year, including funds for 'fan caravans' that would travel to tech campuses or events to help raise the team's profile." New sponsorship opportunities, "such as additional pre-season games, are one option." The Sharks also are "vying for a chance to host an outdoor NHL game in the Bay Area" during '15. Tortora said, "We’ve talked to the 49ers and we’ve talked to the Giants and we’ve talked to Stanford. Any one of those facilities could host the game, and all three are interested." He said that the team "plans to work with the city of San Jose to upgrade" SAP Center, hopefully "keeping the facility competitive for prestigious concerts or other sports events as new, rival venues like Levi’s Stadium enter the market." He added that it is "too early to say whether the team will pursue private sector cooperation for a possible arena modernization project, though SAP Center is among the city's biggest tourism drivers." Tortora said that the team in the meantime also is "working with SAP to implement scouting software that helps measure financial returns on high-priced players" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 12/12).
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