Sharks-SAP to shore up community welfare



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San Jose Sharks arena naming rights Image: NHL

The Sharks Sports and Entertainment (SSE), the parent company of the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Sharks residence – the SAP Center at San Jose in San Jose, California, and the global technology leader SAP announced on April 10th an extension of their partnership which includes the extension of the naming rights to the SAP Center at San Jose. The deal extends for five years through 2028.

‘NHL’ stated that the SSE partners with organizations that, like SSE, are innovators and leaders within their respective fields. In SAP, SSE has a long-term partner that has both a strong global identity and an inherent pioneering spirit.

San Jose, California (US)-based the Sharks Sports and Entertainment is the privately-held parent company of the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League (NHL). Based in San Jose, California (US), the SSE not only oversees all areas of operation for the Sharks but also for several sports-related properties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

The San Jose Sharks are a professional ice hockey team based in San Jose, California, US. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference, and are owned by the San Jose Sports & Entertainment Enterprises.

The 17,562-capacity SAP Center at San Jose is an indoor arena located in San Jose, California, US. Its primary tenant is the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League (NHL), for which the arena has earned the nickname ‘The Shark Tank’.

Walldorf (Germany)-based SAP is one of the world’s leading producers of software for the management of business processes, developing solutions that facilitate effective data processing and information flow across organizations. With the introduction of its original SAP R/2 and SAP R/3 software, SAP established the global standard for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Now, SAP S/4HANA takes ERP to the next level by using the power of in-memory computing to process vast amounts of data, and to support advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

The San Jose Sports & Entertainment Enterprises (SJSEE) is a privately-held company based in San Jose, California which owns the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League, the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League and oversees all areas of operation and management of the City-owned SAP Center at San Jose, the premier sports and entertainment venue in Santa Clara County.

‘NHL’ further stated that when the SSE first announced the naming rights partnership with SAP, the organizations committed to giving $375,000 each year to local nonprofit organizations through the Sharks Foundation. To date, through this partnership alone, more than $3.75 Million has been given to nonprofit programs and projects dedicated to enhancing the lives of under-represented youth and families in the Bay Area.

With the announcement of the partnership extension, the Sharks Foundation and SAP will increase the donation amount to close to $500,000 per year for the next five years, bringing the total estimated contribution to more than $6 Million by 2028.

The Sharks Foundation is the official charitable arm of the San Jose Sharks and has donated more than $18.2 million to those in need since its inception.

As part of an expanded partnership, the SSE and SAP will create the Sharks Innovation Challenge Series, featuring third parties competing to develop solutions for business or community problems. Winning teams will receive an award and the opportunity to pitch for funding for their ideas. The SAP will also become presenting sponsor of the Sharks DI&B Partnership Program, in which local Bay Area businesses can become a Sharks partner at reduced or no costs. Additionally, the SAP will continue to serve as the Sharks away games helmet decal (a design prepared on special paper for durable transfer on to another surface such as glass or porcelain) partner, a deal first announced in 2021.

Said Jonathan Becher, President of Sharks Sports and Entertainment, “The SAP exemplifies a true partner who shares a common vision, values and focus on innovation. With the extension of our partnership, we look forward to even more collaboration, focused on pioneering the future of sports and entertainment and improving the lives of those in our community.”

Over the past 10 years, the SAP has collaborated with the SSE to make the SAP Center a technology incubator for a wide variety of use cases. The Sharks are in production with multiple cloud solutions including the SAP Business Technology Platform for data and analytics, SAP S/4HANA Cloud for finance, SAP SuccessFactors for HR, SAP Concur for travel expense management, and SAP Customer Experience solutions, which have helped the organization optimize business operations and enhance the fan experience.

The SAP also continues to innovate with the NHL, having developed multiple applications including the SAP-NHL Coaching Insights App for iPad which integrates data from the NHL Edge, the league’s puck and player tracking system, and uses analytics to enhance how the game is coached, played and watched by the fans. From a sustainability standpoint, the SAP and the NHL recently developed a cloud-based solution called NHL Venue Metrics that enables the league to measure and analyze the carbon footprint generated by its clubs and arenas across various areas, including energy, water, waste, and recycling.

Stated Yaad Oren, Managing Director of SAP Labs US and Head of the SAP Innovation Center Network, “Over the years, our involvement with Sharks Sports and Entertainment has remained focused on using leading technology to deliver enhanced insights that help the organization achieve its business goals, grow its global fan base and give back to the local community. With our longstanding partnership, we are excited to continue evolving our commitment to cultivating innovation in the Bay Area at the SAP Center.”

Through the extension of the partnership, the SAP continues as a member of the Teal Inner Circle, an exclusive group within the SSE roster of global partners that share the organization’s vision to pioneer and co-innovate the future of sports, along with the American healthcare company Kaiser Permanente, the American computer drive manufacturer and data storage company Western Digital, software program Zoom, and Tech CU (credit union in San Jose, California).

The Teal Inner Circle members receive unique benefits focused on access, recognition and one-of-a-kind assets by leveraging the Sharks’ unique and best-in-class story-telling capabilities. Sample benefits include road trips with the team, intimate events with Sharks team members and management, special opportunities for employee engagement, and much more.

In conjunction with an all-new approach to partnerships, the San Jose Sharks have launched the Teal Inner Circle, an innovative and exclusive platform that bring partners closer to the Sharks organization than ever before by developing relationships with organizations based on shared values and vision. The Teal Inner Circle platform formally launched during the 2021-2022 NHL Seasons.

New York (US)-based the National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league in North America comprising 32 teams – 25 in the United States and 7 in Canada. It is considered to be the top-ranked professional ice hockey league in the world, and is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.

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