The NHL has a new apparel deal with Fanatics, and it means hockey fans are going to be advertising Fanatics on their replica NHL jerseys starting next season.
The NHL announced a new long-term agreement with Fanatics that will designate Fanatics the official manufacturer of NHL apparel, including replica jerseys. That means fans buying a replica jersey of their favorite NHL squad starting next season will have a Fanatics patch at the bottom of their jersey, instead of the logo for Adidas, the NHL’s official jersey provider.
Fans will have to shell out the extra cash for an authentic NHL jersey to get the Adidas logo instead of the Fanatics logo. This is just the latest move by the ever-growing Fanatics brand to branch out and market their product.
Honestly, this may be a subtle change to those who wear replica hockey jerseys. Does anyone pay that close attention to the little patch at the bottom of the jersey? If you do, then this may be a shock to you, and maybe you won’t like it. But how much Fanatics branding is going to be place don the replica jerseys? Will there be more than just the patch at the bottom? That is the fear Greg Wyshynski points out in his story about the uniform development;
Notice how we aren’t privy to what the back of the neck looks like, which is where you’ll find a giant Adidas logo on the authentic jerseys, if the World Cup of Hockey sweaters were any indication. Which means one assumes that’s where you’ll find more Fanatics branding.
Are the jerseys going to look like the ones we see on the ice? Brandon Williams of Fanatics tells us, “The new replicas will look similar to the on-ice versions, however the changes/enhancements have more to do with the feel and wearability of the fan jersey.”
The reception to this news has not been overly positive, to put it kindly.
It's like they listened to the fans, and did the exact opposite. https://t.co/A7Ho0Z1dbT
— Reasonable Facsimile (@TheCoffeeDog) October 26, 2016
NFL/NBA – Nike
MLB- Under Armor
NHL- Fanatics pic.twitter.com/RJJEr6Mzu6
— Jared Kight (@Jarebear81787) October 26, 2016
— Blues Fan Nation (@Blues_FanNation) October 26, 2016
One also has to wonder what this could mean for other Fanatics partners, like Major League Baseball. Odds are the Fanatics logo is going to make it on to replica MLB uniforms once their new arrangement with the league kicks in during the 2020 season. However, if NHL fans protest enough, maybe Fanatics will rethink their strategy with MLB.