What Lessons Could New Jersey Devils Ownership Learn From Steven Cohen

Mets owner Steve Cohen thanks the fans (Syndication: Westchester County Journal News)
Mets owner Steve Cohen thanks the fans (Syndication: Westchester County Journal News) /
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When billionaire hedge fund tycoon Steven Cohen bought the New York Mets, Cohen told the fans that he wanted to build something special in Queens. He was a diehard Mets fan, pushing someone who looked at the team as more than dollars and cents in the front office. Almost immediately, Cohen engaged with Mets fans. During a live Zoom interview, he told the story of how he obtained ownership of the actual baseball that got through Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. On social media, Mets fans immediately adored their new savior and affectionately nicknamed him, “Uncle Steven”.

When it comes to the New Jersey Devils, the love for ownership isn’t the same. Joshua Harris and David Blitzer aren’t interacting with fans like Cohen. That doesn’t mean they can’t look across the river and learn a thing or two. Here are a few lessons the Devils can learn from Mets ownership.

New Jersey Devils, New York Mets
New York Mets owner Steven A. Cohen (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Be A True Fan

Since Cohen stepped onto the big stage, he was honest with Mets fans and promised to do his best to give the Mets a chance at winning. In his introductory press conference as owner, Cohen wanted to build a winning culture immediately. He said, “I’m not in this to be mediocre”. And followed up by saying, “I don’t want to just get into the playoffs. I want to win a championship”.

The new Mets owner was “all in” and this immediately resonated with the diehard Mets fans. They had the confidence that the ownership group will do whatever it takes to win. Especially when Cohen set the timeline by stating that he would “consider that slightly disappointing” if the Mets did not win the World Series in 3-5 years.

When the Devils ownership led by Harris and Blitzer initially bought the team in 2013, it honestly felt like Devils fans were watching a corporate boardroom meeting at their introductory press conference. To their credit, Harris and Blitzer said the right things, but the tone was more of a transactional business acquisition than getting fired up to win the Stanley Cup. It is important for Harris and Blitzer to become true Devils fans and be passionate about their team like any entrepreneur developing their own unique product. Otherwise, they’ll always remain out of touch with the New Jersey Devils fanbase.