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.