Although commissioner Gary Bettman has said for years that the NHL would never compromise the integrity of its uniforms by selling advertising space on jerseys, that’s exactly what will happen in 2023-24. Turns out Bettman’s word doesn’t mean jack…go figure, huh?
A number of NHL teams have announced, or in some cases revealed, their “shirt patch partners” for next season and it’s safe to say that fans aren’t happy with the news.
The Washington Capitals were the first team to announce and reveal their jersey ads, partnering with Caesars Sportsbook to have the sports betting company’s logo added to their uniforms. Exactly what we need, isn’t it? More sports betting announcements during an NHL broadcast…
The Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins both followed suit, with the Blue Jackets partnering with glass repair company Safelite and the Penguins partnering with healthcare company Highmark.
Check out these new shirts for all three teams:
Cool…every kid dreams of one day wearing the Highmark logo on their chest, right?
Seriously, and at the cost of coming off like a pearl hugging Karen, I think this is absolutely disgraceful. How much money do these teams need to be satisfied? As fans we are charged an absolute fortune to follow the sport and that is never good enough. Believe me, within a decade these tiny patches will look more like what we see in European football.
Or even worse, how about European hockey jerseys?
These guys look like junk newspaper flyers…
The Minnesota Wild announced their jersey advertising sponsorship earlier today and unveiled new jerseys featuring the orthopedic TRIA logo. The deal would net the Wild $5.6 million per season.
Personally, I would NEVER buy an NHL jersey with a logo on it. I realize I sound like an angry old man when I say that, but it’s a line I just don’t want to cross. We already advertise to death when we watch an NHL game, is it asking too much of the players themselves to be free of advertising?
Frankly, I think there is a real opportunity to remove physical branding from arenas and the playing surface through advancements in technology. We already see ads superimposed on the broadcasts, why not just extend these to the ice and boards surrounding the rink? Keep these surfaces pristine so that those who pay dearly to sit in the arena aren’t subjected to advertisements from Tim Hortons, ESSO, TD Bank and Telus all evening. Thoughts?