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Chuck Arnold tackles a new role
Photos from the Seahawks' 16-15 win over the San Diego Chargers.
Seahawks fans came out in droves on Saturday in San Diego.
It was family day here at the VMAC as the Seahawks had their last practice of the week before heading to San Diego tomorrow for a preaseon matchup against the Chargers on Saturday.
Chuck Arnold has seen the inner workings of the Seahawks from almost every possible vantage point.
And that’s what made him the logical choice when club President Peter McLoughlin was looking for someone to oversee so many things Seahawks. Arnold has been named Chief Operating Officer, a title that includes managing and providing leadership for a myriad of departments – tickets, suites, corporate partnerships, retail, marketing, information technology, community relations and stadium operations.
But then Arnold has been there, done that in so many areas since joining the organization 20 years ago as an intern in the public relations department.
“I’m excited about it,” he said. “In the 20 seasons that I’ve been here, I’ve been involved in I think every area.”
Unlike coach Pete Carroll, you won’t see Arnold working the sideline on game days. Unlike quarterback Russell Wilson and cornerback Richard Sherman, you won’t hear Arnold addressing the media on a weekly basis. Arnold’s work is done behind the scenes, but the impact of his efforts is – and has been – undeniable.
Not to mention widespread. He compiled the daily newspaper clip file and made sure players did interviews while in the PR department. He helped with laundry and folded towels in the equipment room. He has driven the van that shuttles players to and from the airport as part of the scouting department. When fallen ceiling titles forced the closure of the Kingdome in 1994 and the team played three home games at Husky Stadium on the University of Washington campus, Arnold helped move season-ticket holders into new seats – a task that led to him being named director of ticket sales. After then-owner Ken Behring moved the team’s offseason program to Anaheim, Calif., in 1996 Arnold was there setting up the weight room.
More recently, in his role as vice president of sales and marketing the past four years, Arnold oversaw the remodeling of the Pro Shop at CenturyLink Field and the opening of a second Pro Shop in downtown Seattle, and also was involved with Nike in the redesign of the team’s new uniform.
“Given his performance, I thought it was the appropriate time to promote Chuck to Chief Operating Officer,” McLoughlin said. “He’ll oversee all revenue streams, including corporate partnerships and suites; the stadium operation, which gives him the opportunity to really have direct contact with all of our fans and all of our customers at the stadium during our games and events; and Chuck also will oversee our technology area as we look to enhance the experience of our fans through technology.”
It’s not a position Arnold sought, but it is a role he has earned.
“I didn’t know this was coming,” he said. “But I’ve been fortunate enough to have been given new opportunities throughout the time I’ve been here, and now feel fortunate for the opportunity Peter is giving me to take on this challenge.
“You can look at this as a challenge, but I like to describe challenges as opportunities versus challenges. So I look at this as a great opportunity. And I love the confidence that the ownership and Peter had in me.”
Think of Arnold as the guy in high school who has the personality and people skills to move seamlessly from the jocks, to the honor-roll students, to the nerds, to the alternative kids, and fit in wherever he is at any given moment – and in any given click.
Presented with that analogy, Arnold smiled and offered, “That was kind of my personality, and I think one of my strengths is that I’ve been able to kind of acclimate or adapt to different personalities and different management structures. So that’s helped.”
Virginia Mason Athletic Center is laced with former PR interns who have remained in a variety of roles – VP of communications, broadcasting and web content Dave Pearson; director of pro personnel Trent Kirchner; team travel/training camp coordinator Jeremy Young; director of sales in corporate partnerships Gina Martinez Todd; director of communications Lane Gammel; communications assistant Kory Kemp; and digital media content coordinator Tony Drovetto.
Raised on Seahawks, trained by the Seahawks and now integral to the Seahawks. That’s Chuck Arnold, and so many others.
“It’s a great story, the fact that Chuck has been with the organization 20 years, started as an intern, went to Washington State University and has learned all of the traits and skills necessary to now become the Chief Operating Officer of the organization,” McLoughlin said. “It’s really a testament to his intelligence, and his hard work, and his professionalism, and his dedication to doing things the right way.”