How do you improve on a brand that’s already one of the best?


Managing and operating a successful sports brand is about winning, yes. But you can’t bet all your chips on your team doing well all the time, so you need to build a customer base that’s not reliant on winning. If that sounds like a contradiction, it’s not. You need to dig deeper into the relationships you have with fans, so that the satisfaction they get is not just from the scoreboard, but from their entire relationship with your brand. LEVEL5 has a passion for the business of sports, and a close connection to hockey. When the San Jose Sharks wanted to take their business to the next level, they knew who to call.


The LEVEL5 team started with BrandMap™ insight-gathering in the Bay area where San Jose competes for fans with sports brand juggernauts such as San Francisco’s Giants and 49ers, and Oakland’s Golden State Warriors. We learned that, even in such celebrated company, the Sharks have an exceptionally strong brand that drives fanatic loyalty to the team, full-house ticket sales, and the emotional commitment we know is highly coveted in the Sports and Entertainment business.


Clearly, the Sharks’ brand was strong enough to build upon. We showed them a way to leverage it both on and off the ice by making it a driving force for organizational transformation across all operating structures, corporate culture and communications.


When the management team first called LEVEL5, they’d had a gut feeling. They knew their brand was strong, and they needed quantifiable data to back their bold plans, and strategic advice on how to shape a brand-based approach to their entire business. While we can’t take credit for the San Jose Sharks making it to the Stanley Cup final for the first time, we’re proud to have helped them adopt and implement a bold strategy that promises to realize this brand’s potential in ways it has never done before.


  • Alignment to a new brand strategy
  • Informed Marketing and Creative Strategy
  • Enables Strategic Partnerships
  • Enhances Fan Experience
  • Expands Fan Base