Pandemic leads Shelley to St. Cloud Norsemen

The COVID-19 pandemic nearly pushed Mark Shelley out of hockey broadcasting. Instead, it has ended-up moving him forward. An STAA member, Shelley is the new Director of Broadcasting/Media Relations for the St. Paul Norsemen of the NAHL.

He moves to Minnesota after an abbreviated season with the NAHL’s Amarillo Bulls. When the pandemic resulted in Shelley being laid off by the Bulls, he thought his days of calling hockey might be over. “I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to remain in hockey until I saw an STAA Job Leads email that had some potential openings.”

The St. Cloud job was among those potential openings. When a subsequent STAA email stated that members could send their applications to St. Cloud GM Tom Chorske, Shelley moved quickly. “I had an email sent to the GM within five minutes and was on the phone with other broadcasters and GMs in the division to see if they could offer advice and help,” Shelley recounts.

Besides broadcasting and media relations, Shelley will produce videos and other social media and website content. “Additionally, I will take on a large corporate and ticket sales role,” he says.

Shelley joins St. Cloud as they rebrand following their first year in Minnesota. “The team moved to St. Cloud in August of last year and only changed from the Brookings Blizzard to the St. Cloud Blizzard. Now, they have a new color scheme, logo, a long-term staff, and a base of advertisers. It’s basically a ‘start fresh and build something strong’ type of mindset, and that is awesome,” he says excitedly.

Shelley joined STAA in 2017 on the advice of Hershey Bears broadcaster Zack Fisch. Months later, Shelley attended an STAA Play-by-Play Retreat in San Diego. Shelley says contacts he’s made through STAA aided his pursuit of the St. Paul position.

“STAA has helped me meet a lot of other broadcasters who have all been unbelievably helpful. I would reach out to guys at higher levels and we would bond over STAA while they helped me work on my play-by-play,” he says.

Prior sales experience also boosted Shelley’s St. Paul application. “My sales experience played a huge role in getting this job. Having that background, while I’m no sales expert, certainly made sure that I met every need of the ownership.”

Shelley adds, “I want to thank [STAA] for all that you do. The job leads are life changing, and the emails about strategies, experiences, and advice are so helpful. STAA creates a community that wants to see everyone succeed and does so by having them help each other.”

With St. Cloud being in the NAHL’s Central Division, Shelley will work with other broadcasters he also calls friends. He sees great potential for the Norseman. “With this being the team’s second season in the city, I have an opportunity to work alongside a dedicated staff and for great ownership that all have the same goal of turning this team into a powerhouse organization on and off the ice.”

(Visit Mark’s website).

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