Rejoice, NHL fans! Your team’s sweater won’t be carrying an advertisement on it this season. As seen in a report on TSN.ca, the league’s team presidents met and decided to hold off on placing advertisements on uniforms until other major leagues take the initial plunge. The decision is a noteworthy one, as it’s estimated that each team would benefit to the tune of $4 million a year with ads on the sweaters.
Before you start cheering that your Red Wings sweater won’t have an Amway logo prominently displayed on it, advertisements will be coming to NHL uniforms. The question isn’t if they will, it’s when they will. Though the various presidents and head NHL names elected to pass on ads this time round, that doesn’t mean ads aren’t lurking in the future. Think of how many teams would benefit – some tremendously – from an extra $4 million a year. That $4 million number would likely increase as the league grows and as each market becomes more competitive.
We’ve already seen ads on practice jerseys, so it’s not that far of a leap to place a patch of some sort on an NHL sweater. Some people have envisioned the NHL taking a cue from soccer, placing a sponsor right on the front of the shirt, but that seems unlikely. Instead, a smallish logo across from where a captain’s letter would go might make the most sense.
I don’t say this often, but the NHL is making a wise decision. Ads are inevitable, but it wouldn’t be smart to lead the way when it comes to a controversial move. Fans won’t be pleased with the decision and it’ll take time before the anger dies down. Considering the NHL is barely removed from a lockout and the good times are just returning, announcing ads on the sweaters now would be a huge setback. Let another league with less to lose pave the way, then follow suit.