Todd Sharrock - Cool Headed
With then Blue Jackets goaltender Ron Tugnutt sitting next to him in his car on the way to West Campus, Todd Sharrock was putting together the first of many television spots for the puck stopper’s presidential bid. To get a piece of the Columbus vote, the commercials featured Tugnutt in leg pads while helping an old lady cross the street. The ads were inventive, original and actually got him a number of real votes for president in Franklin County. These were the kinds of things Sharrock, vice president of public relations for the Blue Backets, did 10 years ago and still does today to promote the club.
“I remember the ‘Vote for Tugnutt’ campaign, and having Tyler Wright and Kevyn Adams inside a lion cage fending a lion off with a hockey stick with a piece of meat dangling from it,” Sharrock says. “In those first couple years, we did some really fun stuff to get in the public eye.”
Sharrock, an Ohio State graduate, has introduced hockey to markets for every team he has worked for. He helped boost a minor league franchise in Dallas and Houston before joining the Dallas Stars upon their move from Minnesota. It was different in Columbus, as he didn’t really have a face for the team until the expansion draft.
“In Dallas, we already had guys like Mike Modano that we could promote, and we had the whole summer to push those guys,” Sharrock says. “Here in Columbus, with a new building and a new everything, we didn’t have players to promote until a little later.”
Being here for all 10 years of the Blue Jackets’ existence, Sharrock has seen and been partly responsible for the growth of the franchise from expansion team to playoff team; the growth of the players like Rick Nash from 18-year-old prodigy to NHL superstar and captain; and the growth of a market from an infant NHL city to one with knowledgeable and loyal fans.
“The only reason I can say that I have done this for such a long time is because I legitimately enjoy my job and have a belief in this market,” Sharrock says. “We’ve seen what it can be like in this building, and I don’t think we’ve even gotten to the potential of what it can eventually be like.”
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