John Bochiaro, Vice President of Game Presentation for the NHL and Rowan alumnus, chronicled his career path during “Pizza With the Pros” on Monday. Bochiaro, who graduated from Rowan in 1998 as a Radio/TV/Film major, currently coordinates the largest events on the NHL calendar.
What has become a career of success isn’t exactly one that has gone as planned— or planned at all. While at Rowan, Bochiaro had no intentions of working in sports. Instead, he looked to work in TV production and being around a camera. But it was an internship in sports production at Madison Square Garden that kickstarted a career in game presentation.
Game presentation, as he defined it, is “what you see” on both the TV and in person. As for his specific position, he defines himself as “the liaison between the NHL and the teams.”
How Bochiaro arrived at where he is now is through a series of many different stops at many different locations.
“Every job I had helped in my next steps,” Bochiaro said.
He’s worked in the MLB, minor league hockey, and for NFL Films. Like many, Bochiaro has faced his share of uncertainty and career challenges, but his spirit remains high.
“This is not the career path I thought I’d go on,” Bochiaro said, but he “Wouldn’t change anything.”
Bochiaro’s current role is highlighted by the glamorous event set-ups of the NHL Playoffs, the NHL All-Star Game, the NHL Draft, the NHL Winter Classic, the NHL Stadium Series and the NHL Global Series— staples of the eight-month hockey season.
Bochiaro noted that it is not uncommon to have 12 to 15-hour work days leading up to the Winter Classic, a game held each year in a football or baseball stadium. It’s a spectacle famous for drawing the biggest crowd and best TV ratings of any single NHL game throughout any given season. Despite the routine intensity of the position, Bochiaro is happy.
“I have an amazing job, I work with amazing people, I’m very, very lucky with how things worked out,” he said.
According to Bochiaro, the main source of feedback are the fans of the league. During the 2020 NHL Playoff bubble in Edmonton and Toronto, Bochiaro was in direct contact with teams and the league about carrying over team-specific traditions to the fan-less arenas to provide fans at home with an immersive viewing experience. He cited those playoffs as one of the biggest obstacles of his career, but it’s something that he looks back on fondly.
Towards the end of his talk, Bochiaro took feedback from students who pitched their ideas about improving the NHL fan experience in the arena. He was receptive to— and often in agreement with— each one. Bochiaro offered his own advice to students.
“Enjoy your time in college; have fun. You have plenty of time to be an adult after college. I didn’t come out of college with a plan, I just kind of figured it out when I graduated,” Bochiaro said
“Pizza With The Pros” will return Monday, Oct. 3, when Rhea Hughes, morning show co-host at Sports
Radio 94WIP, speaks to students.
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