The Chicago Blackhawks today announced that Jay Blunk, a 22-year sports marketing veteran, will join the team to direct the team’s business operations. Mr. Blunk will be the team’s senior vice president of business operations, a newly created position.
Blunk joins the Blackhawks after directing many of the Chicago Cubs’ successful marketing strategies and is viewed by many in the industry as an energetic sports marketing innovator. During his tenure with the Cubs, he held several marketing and sales, branding, promotions and advertising positions.
As Senior Vice President of Business Operations he will oversee the team’s marketing operation as well as media, tickets, broadcast and community relations. Mr. Blunk’s appointment is effective Sunday, January 6. He will report directly to Chicago Blackhawks’ team president John McDonough.
“Bringing an exceptional talent like Jay on board represents another step towards restoring the Blackhawks and its brand to its rightful place among sports’ most treasured franchises,” said McDonough. “There is no question in my mind that Jay has the right credentials, the credibility and the leadership to help us build on the progress we’ve made in a short time. He will join a great team of professionals who have contributed to our growth. We are thrilled to have him with us.”
“I am eager to get started. I look forward to a new challenge and have seen Chicago’s passion for this team, its players and the direction it is headed” said Blunk, a native of Bloomington, Illinois. “The 22 years I spent with the Chicago Cubs has been very rewarding. It was a privilege to be a part of one of America’s most storied franchises. I am proud of the professional achievements that I accomplished there and look forward to bringing much of that experience to the Blackhawks. Our team is playing great hockey, is committed to winning and is working every day to strengthen and expand its fan base.”
Mr. Blunk has spent is entire career with the Chicago Cubs, joining the team as an intern after graduating from Illinois State University in 1986. Most recently, Blunk was the team’s senior vice president of marketing and broadcasting. He and his wife, Marci, have three children and live in the northern suburbs.
Mr. Blunk’s appointment comes on the heels of several recent moves made by team chairman W. Rockwell “Rocky” Wirtz to generate more excitement among Chicago sports fans about a talented group of young and veteran players. Shortly after assuming the role of chairman, Mr. Wirtz moved swiftly to place eleven home games on television and to appoint Mr. McDonough as the team’s new president.