It’s why NHL teams line up and aggressively pursue opportunities to play internationally, like the Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, San Jose Sharks and Predators will next season. The Avalanche and Blue Jackets will play in Tampere, Finland, while the Sharks and Predators will play a pair of regular-season games in Prague, Czechia after holding preseason games in Germany and Switzerland, respectively.
“As much as the benefit is talked about for players and teams on the ice, there is an equally or even more important impact of getting selected for these games for the business,” said Jonathan Becher, the president of Sharks Sports & Entertainment. “And I mean that in a good way.”
While Sharks players will be using a preseason tour of Germany and Czechia as a team-building activity and a chance to open the season with a pair of wins in Prague, Becher and his staff will be boosting the Sharks’ business efforts in Europe.
Some of the Sharks’ largest and closest corporate partners, a group called the Teal Inner Circle, will be making the trip to Europe. The Sharks are also an extension of owner Hasso Plattner’s larger technology business — he’s the chairman of SAP — and a hockey game turns into an entry point into Silicon Valley.
“A lot of companies are not based here and would love to have relationships with firms and some of the most iconic technology companies headquarter within a few miles of our building,” Becher said. “So this is an opportunity for us to reconnect or detect for the first time with international brands that know about the valley and embrace technology, but don’t have those relationships. So you should expect us to be the matchmaker if you will.”
Read the full article here. (subscription required)