Advertising on NHL jerseys could be on their way very soon. Mark J. Burns of the Sports Business Journal reported on Saturday that NHL jersey advertising could begin as early as the 2022-23 season, although nothing has been approved or finalized by the league’s Board of Governors.
Burns reports that NHL clubs have already begun initial investigations into the potential values for jersey advertisements.
“in recent weeks, NHL clubs have been conducting valuation work — some with third-party sports sponsorship and marketing agencies as well as valuation firms — to determine what a jersey patch and helmet decal could both be worth before eventually providing that data to the league, sources said. In other words, what’s the business and revenue case for formally adopting the new sponsorship assets, some sources described.”
Burns added that the exact location of a jersey patch, chest or shoulder, is also still being discussed and evaluated, sources said. Jersey patch sizing is unknown at this time.
During a meeting of NHL team presidents in 2015, league officials estimated they might generate $120 million annually by allowing corporate sponsors to put their logos on jerseys.
The potential addition of jersey advertisements would further advance the latest trends in advertising revenue schemes recently implemented by the NHL.
Back on December 17, 2020, the NHL approved helmet advertisements beginning with the 2020-21 season. The NHL hoped to raise $15M selling ads on helmets this season. Top-market clubs like Toronto and Montreal are likely targeting $1M deals while small-market teams far less.
I can confirm NHL teams can now put a sponsor’s branding/logo on helmets starting this 2020-21 season, subject to category restrictions.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) December 20, 2020
Chicago-based consulting and analytics firm Navigate estimated that NHL helmet ads would be worth “roughly $2.5 million in fair market value for an average team.”
It looks like the current advertising schemes originally implemented to recoup fiscal losses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are here to stay. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said on March 11 that it was “more likely than not” that helmet decal advertising and virtual slot signage, both implemented for the 2020-21 season as make-good opportunities, would continue beyond the current year.
Teams have either one or two helmet advertisers. According to Bettman, clubs retained more than $100 million in revenue through new sponsorship inventory implemented for the current season.
By Jon Sorensen