The one criticism I’ve had of Sharks ownership and business team is that they are followers, not innovators. This has been true pretty much since day one. I’ve always wanted this team to drive innovation in the league; it is silicon valley’s team, after all, where a lot of this innovation happens in the world. But the organization has never taken a league leadership role and always seems to wait for other teams to drive innovations — not surprisingly, given its owner, one of the more innovative teams is the Capitals. Maybe someday this will change, but I’m not holding my breath, and I don’t see the new ownership making this change.
The Sharks were one of the first league teams to have an internet presence, for instance (I know this, because Laurie and I were demoing this funky thing called a browser to them back around 1994 and telling them that this was going to be important to get in front of) — yet after being one of the early (maybe the first) teams to have a web site, they have pretty much followed what the league does rather than led the league forward. There are so many things happening here in the valley where the organization could potentially bring the partnership into the league and foster it through to the other teams, but that’s just not their mindset. They’re followers. Which is okay, but I always hoped for more.
In my comments on the Sharks, I noted my disappointment that they were followers, not innovators in the league, especially in areas where their residence in Silicon Valley might give them networking opportunities to drive technology innovation into the league. Instead, other teams do that.
Click here. We are starting to build out a series of community of interests on this new social network. We will evolve it and make them better day by day. Pin away.
Which is why I thought I’d note that the Capitals are at it again, under the leadership of Ted Leonsis, and have added Pinterest into their social media mix for the teams. Pinterest, based in Palo Alto, about 30 minutes from Sharks world headquarters. And who’s doing the innovation with them?
The team in Washington D.C.
Well done to the Caps for continuing to innovate and evangelize those innovations into the league. And it’s too bad the Sharks aren’t taking advantage of living in Silicon Valley to build the networks around the Valley that would both make the team a visible leader around the league, but help build the networking connections around their home region that would likely lead to future partnerships and sponsorships as the companies they work with grow and mature…
(it just seems to me that there are opportunities here in business development, sponsorships, foundation and fundraising work, PR and Marketing, and in increasing the organization’s influence within the league power structure. Except none of it seems to be a priority…)