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San Jose Sharks new scoreboard rivals those in Times Square

Published Dec 28, 2022 by KTVU

This hockey season, the SAP Center’s ice isn’t the only action sport for Sharks fans. Suspended approximately 50 feet in the air, the latest technological marvel for arena sports is also an eye-catcher.

“When fans come to games, they come for the sporting part of it, hockey. But they also come to be entertained,” said Jonathan Becher, president of the San Jose Sharks.

He said the newly installed “Center-On” display is state-of-theart, and an upgrade over its predecessor. It measures 23 feet by 41 feet on each of its four sides, and the display has 6,000 square feet. of programmable video display.

Read the full article here.

San Jose Sharks Unveil New High-Tech Scoreboard

Published Dec 21, 2022 by NBC Bay Area 

Sharks fans are likely to notice a new high-tech addition at their next hockey game.

A 23-foot-high, 41-foot-wide board, featuring what they call “force perspective 3D,” with video that looks like it jumps out at you, has been added to the San Jose Shark Tank.

“We’re here in Silicon Valley, right? Tech capitol of the world, so using technology to get them to go, ‘oh, I never thought we could do that’ it’s something we get asked for, it’s in our DNA,” said Jonathan Becher, president of Sharks Sports Entertainment.

Read the full article here.

Becher’s Bytes: The Sharks Origin Story

Published Dec 7, 2022 by  Becher’s Bytes

The origins of the San Jose Sharks can be traced back to the 1967 NHL expansion. The San Francisco Seals, a WHL minor league team, was purchased by a new owner who moved them from the Cow Palace to the Oakland Area and renamed them the California Seals. Over the next 7 years, they had four different owners, eight different coaches, and two other names (Oakland Seals, California Golden Seals). In 1976, the Seals relocated to Cleveland, Ohio and became the Cleveland Barons. Unfortunately, they only lasted two seasons in Cleveland, merging with the Minnesota North Stars in 1978.

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The future of sports: Digital experiences for the win

Published Nov 17, 2022 by  Future Of Customer Engagement And Experience 

Sports and entertainment will always be about the audience, but the future of sports requires thinking about how to mesh the physical and digital realms.

The tech industry is known for taking risks, pushing boundaries, and innovating to achieve greater products and experiences for consumers. When Jonathan Becher joined Sharks Sports and Entertainment – which owns the National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks – he used his tech background to grow the organization. It paid off, big time.

The Sharks didn’t have Twitch, a popular live-streaming service with interactive content for gaming, sports, music, and more. During the pandemic, he led the organization through the adoption of the platform, employing a mindset of, “Let’s get it 60% right and then adjust on the fly.”

Read more here.

Sharks to Recognize the Legacy and Accomplishments of Doug Wilson

Published July 29, 2022 by  San Jose Sharks

“Doug Wilson’s imprint on this franchise is unmistakable – on and off the ice,” said Sharks President Jonathan Becher. “As the new expansion team’s first captain in 1991, he set a standard and helped build a foundation that would allow the team to quickly morph into one of the League’s most inspiring and successful teams. As general manager, he crafted and fostered the most successful era of Sharks hockey the franchise has seen, drafting a blueprint which allowed the Sharks to be in the upper echelon of NHL teams for victories and appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Doug’s legacy in San Jose is forever solidified and this recognition will ensure that future generations of Sharks fans will learn about his contributions to Sharks hockey.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Sharks tap Two Circles to sell jersey patch

Published July 12, 2022 by  Sports Business Journal

The Sharks will become the latest North American team hiring Two Circles to sell a 3-by-3.5-inch jersey ad patch, which the NHL is allowing next season for the first time. Sharks President Jonathan Becher said Two Circles was selected from an initial field of five or six agencies, winning out because “they were all about the data, which really fits our culture… and they have enough experience outside of North America to bring in business from there.”

The Sharks hope to attract a buyer based on, among other factors, diversity. The team recently hired Mike Grier as the NHL’s first Black GM, and Becher maintains that the Sharks fan base is also notably diverse. He cited stats showing a season-ticket base with a high percentage of women (48% women vs. 40% general sports fans) and a fan base that is 47% non-white vs. 37% for all hockey fans. The Sharks also have 71% of fans in the 18-49 age demo vs. 51% of general sports fans.

“Whomever ends up as our partner on this will choose us because of that or because we’re one of the most tech-savvy teams, with a tech owner (SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner) and we’re in Silicon Valley,” said Becher, who also served as chief digital officer and CMO at SAP before joining the Sharks.

San Jose Sharks hunt for potential multimillion-dollar jersey-patch sponsor

Published July 12, 2022 by  Silicon Valley Business  Journal

In S.F., Ron Leuty wrote the Sharks could “have a jersey patch ready for the team’s home opener Oct. 14.” But Becher said that there is “not a deadline for getting a deal done.” Leuty wrote a deal could “run five to seven years.” Because of the team’s location in Silicon Valley, Becher, who worked at multiple tech companies, including SAP, added that the deal could “appeal to a tech company or a company interested in reaching the tech business community.” Becher: “We’re not limiting ourselves to tech, but tech is a target-rich environment”

Read the full article here. (subscription required)

Sharks hire Mike Grier as NHL’s first Black General manager

Published July 9, 2022 by Afro New (via AP)

The San Jose Sharks’ three-month search for a general manager ended with a barrier-breaking hire as the team made longtime NHL forward, Mike Grier, the first Black General manager in league history.

Team President Jonathan Becher said Grier emerged from a pool of dozens of candidates because of his experience as a player, scout, coach, and executive over the last few decades and his commitment to building a winning culture in San Jose.

But he acknowledged the history-making nature of the hire as well.

“I hope you do serve as an inspiration to lots of people. You’re the first and I certainly hope not the last,” Becher told Grier.

Grier spent three of his 14 seasons in the NHL with the Sharks from 2006-09. He retired in 2011 after playing 1,060 career games and has spent time as a scout in Chicago, an assistant coach in New Jersey, and most recently the hockey operations advisor for the New York Rangers, where he was given many of the responsibilities of an assistant general manager.

Read the full article here.

San Jose Sharks hire Mike Grier as first Black GM in NHL history

Published July 5, 2022 by  ESPN

Mike Grier made history as the NHL’s first Black general manager when the San Jose Sharks announced his appointment to the position Tuesday.

“We hired the best general manager available,” Becher said. “Mike just happens to be Black. The focus was on finding the best candidate for the job.

“Having said that, it’s great. It’s part of our pioneering spirit, which is get the most out of everybody and expand the sport. San Jose is a very culturally diverse area as well. So I hope you do serve as an inspiration of lots of people.”

Read the full article here.

“There is no frontrunner so far”: Becher Talks Sharks GM Search

Published May 11, 2022 by San Jose Hockey Now

San Jose Sharks president Jonathan Becher characterized the organization’s search for a new GM as in the first period, but well beyond the first shift yesterday.

“There is no frontrunner so far,” he said of a list that currently includes roughly 20-25 candidates.

Becher shared that the San Jose Sharks have had preliminary phone or Zoom conversations with 10-12 candidates, with more to follow.

He noted that playoff results could affect the search too. Some potential GM candidates are currently working for NHL teams in the playoffs, and some of those organizations have asked those candidates not to interview until the off-season.

Becher indicated that the Sharks expect to have two to four conversations with the most intriguing candidates.

Read the full article here.