According to a report from Mark Burns of The Sports Business Journal, the NHL board of governors is set to approve the use of advertisements on player helmets during a conference call later today.
Check it out:
Some details from Burns' column:
Sources said that the helmet ads for the upcoming season are primarily designed as a make good for naming rights sponsors and founding-level type partners, subject to league approval. The sticker placement of sponsors would be located on both sides of a player’s helmet, sources said, and only one brand would be allowed at a time on the helmet.
Sources said that teams will likely have the option of selecting one brand for all home games and one brand for all away games, but they won’t be able to swap different sponsors throughout the season. It’s currently unclear what the exact size of the sponsor stickers will look like.
Call me a traditionalist or a purist, but personally I HATE this idea. Between television commercials, ads on the boards, ads on the ice and live ads read aloud literally DURING the game... enough already. I don't need more corporate BS shoved down my throat when I'm just trying to watch a hockey game.
Even worse though, I feel like this road will ultimately take us to a spot where the NHL has ads placed on jerseys. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has historically been against but this idea but it's now on the table given the tough financial circumstances the NHL finds itself in. Back in 2017 Bettman went on record saying, "It would take an unusual circumstance for us to even think about it," when asked about putting ads on jerseys. Well... I would argue that 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic qualify as "unusual circumstances."
Recently, Sportsnet reporter Elliotte Friedman suggested that the players themselves could be the impetus for getting ads on jerseys as a way of generating more income during a difficult financial year.
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If I was a player, I’d be talking about expanded playoffs and ads on jerseys. Bettman has said in the past the number has got to be worth it. Something small in a corner but enough that you know it’s there. No more of this it’s tradition… It’s time. –Elliotte Friedman on 31 Thoughts Podcast
I have to say... if the NHL does elect to put ads on jerseys, no matter how small or how tastefully they may be done, I will 100% NEVER buy an NHL jersey again. Call me crazy, but I support the team not Toyota, Tim Hortons, McDonald's, Bell, Rogers or any other corporate sponsor.
For what it's worth the NBA allows small advertisements on their jerseys and so far 19 of the 30 teams in the league have partnered with sponsors to place ads on their jerseys. As an example it's believed the Golden State Warriors are receiving $60 million to include this small Rakuten ad on their upper left chest.