Events & Media Archive

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New Sharks jerseys: When will they be worn, and why was Raffi Torres involved?

Published January 25, 2024 by The Mercury  News

The San Jose Sharks on Thursday night unveiled the new third jersey they’ll wear at home for most of the remainder of this season

At an event for certain season ticket holders at SAP Center, Sharks players Logan Couture, Kaapo Kahkonen and Nico Sturm debuted the uniforms as they skated onto the ice. The event also featured team president Jonathan Becher, general manager Mike Grier, and director of player development Todd Marchant taking questions from fans.

“As a nod to this influence in the community, the team incorporated a teal yarn-dye-esque pattern on the sleeves and at the bottom of the jersey.”

Read the rest of the article here.

San Jose Sharks to Retire Joe Thornton’s No. 19 in 2024-25

Published January 17, 2024 by The Hockey News

The San Jose Sharks announced on Wednesday they plan to retire Joe Thornton’s No. 19 next season.

Joe Thornton earned the Hart and Art Ross Trophies while reaching major career milestones in a San Jose Sharks uniform. He’ll be the second player to have his number retired by the club.

“Joe’s arrival in San Jose in 2005 energized an already fervent fan base and for the next 15 seasons, Sharks fans were treated to watching one of the greatest players in NHL history,” Becher said in the team release. “He is one of the most beloved players in Sharks history, and we can’t wait to celebrate Joe’s career in San Jose during the 2024-25 season.”

Read the rest of the article here.

South Bay boosters want bigger bump from 2026 Super Bowl

Published January 4, 2024 by San Jose Spotlight

While officials are quick to note the NFL and FIFA maintain tight control over their events and ancillary activities, there is already interest in ensuring more visitors, attention and money from these attractions make their way into San Jose and surrounding South Bay cities.

“I’m optimistic, but there is still a lot of work to do,” Jonathan Becher, president of Sharks Sports and Entertainment, the parent organization of the San Jose Sharks hockey team, told San José Spotlight.

Becher is a board member of the Bay Area Host Committee, a group charged with attracting and helping to ensure the success of major sporting events, including the Super Bowl, World Cup and the 2025 NBA All-Star Game, which will be held at Chase Center in San Francisco.

Read the rest of the article here.

San Jose Sharks president believes changes to NHL’s Pride tape ban are forthcoming

Published October 24, 2023 by The Mercury News

The president of the San Jose Sharks believes the NHL’s ban on players displaying “cause messaging” on their equipment, including the use of Pride-themed tape on their sticks, will undergo some adjustments, possibly this season.

An NHL memo earlier this month informing clubs what players could no longer do on theme nights, including using the rainbow-colored stick tape – often used during LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations in pregame warmups — was met with both confusion and derision, with some feeling the league was backtracking on its long-running “Hockey is for Everyone” campaign.

Perhaps, though, the conversation isn’t over, with Jonathan Becher, president of Sharks Sports & Entertainment, feeling those rules will go through some modifications.

“Is it unfortunate that the league took that out of the player’s hands? For sure,” Becher told this news organization last week. “Do I think it’ll get back? Yes. And I think probably sooner than everyone is expecting.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Shark Stakes: Inside the rebirth of the San Jose Sharks, on and off of the ice

Published October 20, 2023 by Silicon Valley Business Journal

For more than two decades, success was about the only thing Sharks fans knew. Behind a generation of great players that included Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski, San Jose’s NHL franchise reached the postseason nearly every year from 1997 to 2019.

But in between then and now, some of those good feelings soured. Sharks Sports & Entertainment, the company which operates the franchise, battled with the city and developers over two major projects that could drastically remake the area around the Sharks’ home at SAP Center — Google’s plan to build an 80-acre, mixed-use campus to the south of the arena, and BART’s extension into San Jose.

Team President Jonathan Becher said that when you’re winning for as long as the Sharks were, it’s “hard to plan” for a sharp turn the other way. “All of that down-side protection you would normally do in other businesses, we didn’t necessarily have to do it,” Becher said in an interview just before the 2023-24 NHL season officially kicked off Oct. 12.

Not that they didn’t want to, but rather the daily demands of the sports and events business make it difficult to step back and plan for the long-term, Becher said, characterizing the job as the “tyranny of the urgent.” The former longtime SAP executive acknowledged that the pandemic and losing seasons precipitated a necessary rethink.

Read the rest of the article here.

PolitiBeat: San José Spotlight’s inaugural political festival

Published June 14, 2023 by San Jose Spotlight

Asked if the San Jose Sharks are considering leaving downtown or San Jose, Team President Jonathan Becher said they don’t want to leave, though Google’s major Downtown West project and other infrastructure plans downtown have raised concerns for the team about parking, stadium access and fan experiences.

But Becher noted that for now, it isn’t an issue.

Read the full article here.

You can see a recording of the entire event here.  The sports discussion begins at 2:08:00 and runs for about 50 minutes.


Published April 26, 2023 by VenuesNow

Fans of the NHL San Jose Sharks can avail themselves of a new SAP Center premium seating option when the team starts the 2023-24 season: a luxury lounge with mingling space and seats in the bowl.

The roughly 4,000-square-foot Penthouse Lounge is the newest $10-million-plus improvement at the 30-year-old building, whose “good bones” allow for regular upgrades that have maintained the arena’s vitality, as opposed to relying on more intermittent $100 million-range upgrade and maintenance projects, said Sharks President Jonathan Becher.

“Each summer we do one large mega project and a bunch of smaller ones where we invest in modernization and upkeep,” he said, adding that $5 to $10 million has gone into upgrades every year since the building opened in 1993 at a cost of $183 million. “The building doesn’t feel as old as it is chronologically because we are constantly working to refresh it and keep it up to date.”

Read the full article here.

Sharks adding new premium area to SAP Center

Published April 20, 2023 by Sports Business Journal

The Sharks’ new premium project at SAP Center, the Penthouse Lounge, will get underway May 4 and be completed in time for the 2023 NHL season later this year. The Lounge, divvied up into four and six-person theater boxes with a private bar, replaces seven suites and three rows of bowl seats at the top of the arena. “This is part of our strategy to deliver experiences to fans that are not limited to the game of hockey, where it’s as much of a social interaction as it is just viewing the hockey game,” said Sharks President Jonathan Becher. “A modern building has to be designed for many different audiences. And what our building historically had less of is those communal environments. … I would not be surprised if we build more of these in the future.”

Read the full article here.

ALL IN: Leaders in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Published March 27, 2023 by Sports Business Journal

Coinciding with SBJ’s ALL IN conference on April 20 at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles, we recognize the work of individuals across sports in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. They are leading important discussions and decisions within their organizations and throughout the industry about how diversity is a business imperative. We relied on input from industry sources and leaders who have been recognized in our previous DEI coverage to help us identify those who lead by example in how sports business can be a welcoming and open forum for all.

Becher made NHL history last summer with his hiring of Mike Grier as the club’s general manager, making him the first Black person to oversee player personnel for an NHL club. Becher’s track record on the issue of diversity and inclusion, however, extends beyond this high-profile decision. As early as 2009, he used his position as a high-ranking executive at SAP to advocate for women in leadership roles. He currently serves as the co-chair of the NHL’s Fan Inclusion Council, a role in which he seeks to make NHL fandom a more welcoming and inclusive experience for individuals from underrepresented groups.

Read the article here.