The NHL successfully integrated ads on helmets this season and now it seems the league is readying to take the *forbidden* step: selling sponsorship on jerseys.
Saturday, Mark Burns reported that multiple sources have told the Sports Business Journal that the NHL could have ads on jerseys as soon as the 2022-23 season. Burns said that several NHL teams are conducting valuations to figure out how much jersey ads and helmet ads could potentially be worth.
— Mark J. Burns (@markjburns88) April 17, 2021
The ads have been discussed as patches on the shoulder or chest.
The news comes more than a month after Bettman indicated helmet ads would “more likely than not” be staying long-term.
“Obviously, certain [sponsorship opportunities] we unleashed into these unique circumstances with empty buildings such as tarps and bigger signage behind the benches and the edge wrap, that doesn’t work when people are in the building,” Bettman said. “So the focus by definition has to be on the virtual signage or the virtual placement on the blue line, and the helmet stickers. I think it’s more likely than not, we’ll continue to see those. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re on a slippery slope, but in these challenging times, particularly economically, we’ve been focused on doing the best we can in terms of league rules and what opportunities financially can be presented.”
Across the sports world, ads on jerseys are becoming, to flip a popular expression, more the rule than the exception. MLS jerseys feature companies on the front of its kits while the NBA is selling sponsorship space on the left shoulder of player uniforms. They’ve been doing so since the 2017-18 season.
The Washington Capitals rocked Capital One decals on their helmets this season for the first time while the Washington Wizards have featured Geico ads on their jerseys since 2018.
Geico also sponsors the Washington Mystics and the Capital City Go-Go in the NBA G League.
“When we set out to find a partner to share one of the most visible, most prominent partnership opportunities in sports, we knew we wanted a company that shared our commitment to community,” Ted Leonsis said of the Wizards activation then. “GEICO has been a pillar of the Washington, D.C., community for decades, and they are one of the most influential advertisers in sports. That they have chosen to put their logo on their hometown teams is a great reminder of the power of basketball in Washington, D.C.”
Leidos sponsors DC United kits.
Rooting for you on the pitch from the ice today!
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 17, 2021
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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