San Jose Sharks Pick a New Creative Agency After 20 Years

By Erik Oster 

The NHL’s San Jose Sharks appointed Bay Area agency Division of Labor as its creative agency starting with the 2016-2017 NHL season. Division of Labor replaces San Carlos agency Bob Kilburg & Associates, which had held the account for 20 years. 

“It was like being a player who the organization feels they don’t have a need for anymore,” Bob Kilburg told Silicon Valley Business Journal. “Yeah, it was painful for me.”

Division of Labor is working with the team to release a new “Sharks For Life” campaign debuting next month emphasizing the dedication and camaraderie of longtime Sharks fans. “Sharks For Life” will feature eight to 10 broadcast spots, over 25 radio ads, as well as OOH and digital placements throughout the season, which kicks off on Oct. 12.


“As an organization, it was time to re-examine the look, feel, and message of our brand and to allow the franchise to share a deeper, more connected, story,” San Jose Sharks chief operating officer John Tortora said in a statement. “In seeking a new agency, we were looking for a local group that would be a good fit for the message we desire to convey. We have that with Division of Labor and we are excited to move forward immediately with our ‘Sharks for Life’ campaign.”

“The San Jose Sharks have done such an amazing job developing tremendous fan support in the Bay Area,” added Division of Labor founder and creative director Josh Denberg. “And we’re just honored to be part of it going forward to build on the great work they’re already done.”

In addition to the “Sharks For Life” campaign, the San Jose is also revamping the “look and feel” of the organization. As part of the redesign, Bay Area graphic artist, and designer of the original Sharks logo, Terry Smith will design new secondary marks for the team.

“It’s always exciting to continue to work on the Sharks brand, a brand in which I take great pride,” Smith said. “As an artist, you always want to create a perfect logo for the franchise with whom you’re working. Creating another generation of Sharks logos has given me an opportunity to incorporate new elements into the overall look of the Sharks. I am really pleased with how these secondary marks will complement the current look and feel of the franchise.”

In other Sharks news, this week the team released three new logos.