Eryn McVerry of the Chicago Blackhawks on Her Journey From Softball to Hockey
Eryn McVerry recently joined the Chicago Blackhawks in a new role as EVP marketing and content, bringing a mix of agency, brand and team experience. She spearheads all efforts to bring the Blackhawks brand to life, ensuring the team and organization are connecting culturally both in Chicago and throughout the globe through media, sports and community initiatives.
Prior to joining the Blackhawks, Eryn was with the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay Lightning, where her leadership contributed to the Lightning's marketing efforts being honored as Team of the Year by the 2021 Clio Sports Awards. Before working in professional team sports, Eryn spent her time in advertising at TBWA\Chiat\Day, mcgrarrybowen, Ogilvy and Momentum—leading the creation of campaigns for iconic brands in and around the world of sport, including NASCAR, Budweiser, Gillette, Sport Check, the U.S. Army and more.
Eryn received her bachelor's degree from the University the Michigan and her master's in advertising from Michigan State University. However, her loyalty lies with the maize and blue.
We spoke to Eryn for our Time-Out series, where we chat with folks in the sports world about their favorite athletes, teams, sports movies and shows, and their love of sports generally.
Eryn, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I'm from a small beach town in Florida called Satellite Beach, an area known for surfing—think Kelly Slater and the Hobgood twins. I've been mesmerized by big cities so have found myself in Chicago, New York, L.A., and now back in Chicago for the second time.
Your earliest sports memory.
Growing up in Florida, spring training was an every year thing. Going down to Dodgertown in Vero Beach and being so close to the players was a kid's dream, especially as a former softball player.
Your favorite sports teams.
Hands down, my alma mater, the Michigan Wolverines—nothing like a Maize & Blue football weekend in Ann Arbor. All my other "favorite" sports teams just pale in comparison, with the exception being the Blackhawks, of course.
Your favorite athlete.
Softball was my sport, so I have to go with Lisa Fernandez (UCLA star). When I was younger, it was so inspiring to see her play in the '96 Olympics. The other would be Bo Jackson. I loved his athleticism, charisma, and of course the "Bo Knows" Nike campaign.
Your favorite sports show or podcast.
As I continue to learn hockey, I've found myself listening to Spittin' Chiclets. However, I like to strike a balance so I find myself drawn to podcasts such as Seth Godin's Akimbo, which challenges the way you think and focuses on how culture impacts our lives.
Your favorite sports movie.
A recent project you're proud of.
I'm new to the Blackhawks, so I'm settling into various projects that are ongoing, and building new ones as we speak. One thing I can say is I'm proud of the way the team is constantly evolving our approach to DEI collaborations. The last couple of months I've not only seen activations across Black History Month, gender equality and our Pride night elevate but also further extend beyond our walls into the community and across the year. I look forward to seeing how we continue to enrich all of our efforts in this space.
Someone else's project that you admired recently.
Beats "You Love Me" film from 2020. It still moves me because of its rawness, emotion, timeliness and boldness.
What sports can do that nothing else can.
Sports can inspire, unite and create hope like nothing else, while at the same time provide an abundance of opportunities for growth, both on and off the ice/field/court. From the development of teamwork, confidence, leadership and empowerment to the lessons in failure and getting back up.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in the sports world.
I'd follow in my sister's footsteps and be a college professor. While it wouldn't technically be in the "sports" world, I'd be sure to lean into my advertising background to talk about all the ways brands show up in the sports world.