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Volume 23 No. 18
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Net gains: How five teams scored new opportunities

Only one team each summer has the advantage of going into the offseason marketplace touting itself as the newly crowned Stanley Cup champion. But every team knows there is no offseason when it comes to developing business opportunities. Here are five different areas, and how five different teams across the league are moving their franchise in a new direction:

Ticket Sales

Following a season in which attendance rose by more than 1,500 fans per game year over year, the Colorado Avalanche has implemented a new ticket sales process to boost that number even further. The approach focuses on generating leads of single-game buyers, and the goal is to move prospective buyers to the team’s sellers as quickly as possible. The automated system, which was spearheaded by the Pepsi Arena box office and Altitude Tickets staffers, doubled the sales conversion from the club’s prior lead generating process. It also helped maximize the time of the Avalanche’s business intelligence group and allowed sales representatives to be more strategic in their outreach to prospective buyers. 

Marketing 

The San Jose Sharks are rolling out a new organizational campaign dubbed Teal Together that is centered around inclusiveness, welcoming new audiences and building communities. The previous initiative was called Sharks For Life and was geared around activating core fans. Twelve internal staffers conceptualized and designed the campaign, which aligns with the Sharks’ investment in multicultural marketing toward the Hispanic, Indian and African American communities. Activations include the Sharks commissioning five diverse artists to design a Sharks crest based on how they interpret the team logo and adding public art to the SAP Center’s exterior.

Partnerships

Through a new multiyear partnership with the Los Angeles Kings, blypIT was named the team’s first official augmented reality partner and is also believed to be among the league’s first such partnerships of its kind. The app will provide an opportunity to better engage with fans throughout home games at Staples Center. The blypIT app — a product from Vancouver, B.C.-based immersive technology company Pro Exp Media — allows fans to showcase their personality as they pose with a virtual hologram of the team’s mascot, Bailey, or take a photo with their favorite Kings player. 

Data & Analytics

On Feb. 8 and 9, the Columbus Blue Jackets will host their first Hockey Analytics Conference at Nationwide Arena. The conference, the brainchild of assistant general manager Josh Flynn, will serve fans who want to know more about how the team leverages data to make more informed decisions while also helping the organization identify potential job candidates. Select individuals will also be invited to participate in a hackathon by attempting to solve a hockey-related problem using data. They then can present their findings to a panel comprising the NHL, multiple teams and other industry professionals.

Community Outreach 

The Vegas Golden Knights and Vegas Golden Knights Foundation are sponsoring six local youth sports leagues across baseball, soccer, football and basketball. Led by the franchise’s marketing and community relations team, the Knights and their foundation will provide financial support for the youth teams in the purchase of equipment and uniforms, which will feature the team’s logo.