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New Suter and Parise jerseys

, Star Tribune

Signings deliver immediate business impact

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD
  • Star Tribune
  • July 5, 2012 - 12:38 AM

The phones were ringing off the hook at Wild headquarters by Wednesday afternoon. Meanwhile, at the Hockey Lodge team store, workers were busy pressing fresh No. 11 and No. 20 jerseys, which will be ready for sale Thursday morning.

Matt Majka loves it when a plan comes together.

Majka is the Wild's chief operating officer. He is in charge of marketing, ticket and merchandise sales. And Wednesday, he was busy.

Majka wasn't involved in the negotiations with Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. But he was knee-deep in preparations for how the team's marketing would kick off -- if and when it happened. Indeed, Majka said, his department was preparing for any eventuality.

"We had to plan for a number of scenarios," he said. "From not signing any substantial free agents to getting both Ryan and Zach to maybe getting one of them. We're glad we hit our best possible scenario."

Tuesday night, employees were told to be ready, to keep the phones on. When news came through Wednesday morning, 15 sales reps were called in. By noon the phones were up. In two hours 500 season tickets were sold. "With the exception of the day the franchise was granted -- and I've been here since then -- no day matches up to this," Majka said. "We're enjoying every minute of this."

Everything was ready to go. Moments after the team made the announcement, the team's Twitter feed put out the phone number to call for tickets. Meanwhile, production started on new Parise (No. 11) and Suter (No. 20) jerseys. They will go on sale at the team store at Xcel Energy Center at 10 a.m. Thursday.

"We had a number of things ready to go once we got the word from [General Manager] Chuck [Fletcher],'' Majka said. "We got going with social media."

By 5 p.m. Wednesday, Majka said upward of 700 season tickets had been sold. "And counting," he said. "I think the phones will ring [Thursday] morning, too."

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