San Jose Sharks: S.J. Sharkie has found a virtual way to connect with fans

The San Jose Sharks’ mascot is looking to spread some goodwill.

2020 must be a really weird year to be a professional mascot.

Now granted, every year is probably a really weird year to be a professional mascot, as it’s an ultra-specific career path that what, 200 people in the entire world can confidently claim, but 2020 brought even further strangeness to the oddest way to make a living.

Why? No fans.

That’s right, with fans having all but been eliminated from every professional game since sports returned over the summer at a full-scale level, mascots have been forced to get creative interacting with cardboard cutouts and green screen video content – that is, if they’re even allowed to appear at games at all. And to make matters worse, it seems very unlikely that fans will be allowed at most professional games in the first half of 2021 either – further calling into question the plight of mascots desperate for connection with the fans they love.

Fortunately, one brave fabricated fanatic has found a way to connect with his people online without having to worry about social distancing or wearing a mask over their breathing hole.

That’s right, in a stroke of genius, the San Jose Sharks‘ mascot S.J. Sharkie has launched a ‘video shoutout‘ promotion on his(their?) website to lift some spirits around the holiday season.

For $50, Sharkie will wish a young fan a happy birthday, welcome a new dog to a family, or even propose to your significant other – if that’s something you’re into. Sharkie will even pop into your virtual learning classroom and give the kids a morale boost, as highlighted in the promotional tweet below.

Now sure, is $50 is a lot of money right now, especially considering the conditions of the world we live in, but for some young fans, this might be priceless. Growing up in central Pennsylvania, if the Philly Phanatic sent me a personalized message wishing me a Merry Christmas or a Happy Birthday, it would have blown my mind, and for some young fan in the Bay Area, this could mean just as much.

In a normal offseason, the chances of interacting with your favorite team’s mascot are rather slim. Sure, maybe they’ll make an appearance at a local grocery store or stand on some far off float in a Holiday Parade, but that isn’t personal. Regardless of whether or not you’d actually request a virtual shoutout from S.J. Sharkie, the fact that the San Jose Sharks had the idea to make it available for those who would is a really out-of-the-box idea that should be lauded for its sheer ingenuity.