New Jr. Reign director of business ops Karr has hockey passion running through veins
James Karr was born and raised in Fresno and has always had a strong passion for sports at all levels.
This past week, Karr was hired by the Jr. Reign as its director of business operations, working primarily with the association’s new USPHL junior team, the Ontario Jr. Reign, that will start play in 2021-22.
“I’m a big supporter of growing the sport of hockey on the West Coast, so when I read the news that the Ontario Jr. Reign would be joining the Pacific Division of the USPHL, I immediately reached out to their president Ben Frank and asked how I could help,” said Karr. “After several Zoom calls and exchanging ideas with the staff, we both felt that this was a great opportunity and shared common goals. In early July, we decided to make my relationship with the team permanent.
“My primary goal is to grow this team and see that it reaches its full potential. We plan to achieve this by developing and implementing innovative sales and service strategies through corporate partnerships and ticket sales. Of course, another big part of my duties is establishing the brand and marketing. We have a huge name to live up to via our affiliation with the AHL’s Ontario Reign. I have to make sure we live up to fans’ expectations by implementing engaging content through digital-first strategies and by being an active supporter in the community.”
Prior to the Jr. Reign, Karr worked for the Fresno Monsters in the Western States Hockey League as director of operations and general manager and for the Fresno Grizzlies minor league baseball team, formerly the top affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
“During that time, I had the great pleasure of working with Bryce Dale and former NHLer Kevin Kaminski,” Karr said. “Both of them have been great mentors and contributed highly to my success.”
In 2019, Karr left the Monsters when presented with the opportunity to help build a premier strength and conditioning facility, Bullett Performance Training, a strength and conditioning facility dedicated to baseball and hockey athletes within the Central Valley and owned by former Mississippi Riverkings hockey player Brandon Bullett.
Now full steam ahead with the Jr. Reign, Karr is excited for what lies ahead leading up to the club’s inaugural junior hockey season.
“The Ontario Jr. Reign’s general manager Tomas Kapusta and president Ben Frank established the Ontario Jr. Reign in the USPHL as a natural extension of the Jr. Reign youth hockey club, which is the official youth hockey club for the Ontario Reign and proud affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings,” said Karr. “The introduction of these high-performance Tier I and Tier II programs gives athletes a unique opportunity to play high-level junior hockey in California while preparing them for a collegiate career.
“The biggest thing that excites me is the opportunity to work with a staff that is passionate about player development and growing hockey on the West Coast. We’re eager to build a championship program that the town of Ontario, our members, partners, and fans will be proud of and establish ourselves as the dominant force in the Pacific Division.”
— Matt Mackinder
(July 23, 2021)