NHL jersey ads are coming, but Bruins will insist on ‘the right fit,’ says Cam Neely


The Bruins are working with an outside agency, Excel, to winnow the list of contenders. The space for rent is a 3 x 3½ inch slot on the right or left chest, or on the top of the right or left shoulder. The logo must be consistent with the team’s current color scheme, and teams can sell to three different sponsors for the home, away or third shirt, or to one sponsor for all three.

The Bruins currently sport a TD Bank decal on their helmets, a league-approved advertising space at the start of the 2021-22 season.

As of July 2016, Bruins practice jerseys feature corporate crests on the chest from China-based company ORG Packaging and the team’s jersey manufacturer, currently Adidas.

“We’re very involved in the community, not just with the players, but also with the organization,” Neely said. “So we want a business that’s also rooted in the community, so we can probably work with each other and find other ways to get involved in various New England communities.”

The patchwork of companies whose ads adorn football shirts in Europe is a familiar sight, while in North America the closest comparisons are NASCAR and IndyCar setups, with most of the space available on the jackets and cars sporting a range of logos.

Outside of the logos of jersey manufacturers such as Nike and Adidas – an Adidas patch can be found on the neck of every NHL jersey – uniform patches among the four major professional sports leagues in North America represent relatively new turf.

The NBA has licensed a small left chest patch since the 2017-18 season in a deal estimated to be worth more than $200 million a year combined, according to Boardroom. The Excel agency the Bruins also use worked with the Celtics for their uniform patch sponsor, Vistaprint, in a deal CNBC valued at $10 million to $15 million a year.

Major League Baseball will unveil its uniform advertising in the 2023 season, with 4 x 4-inch patches placed on the sleeves, a revenue game that could exceed a combined $250 million per year for all 30 teams, according to Van Wagner Sports. . Advertising decals on the helmets could appear as early as this post-season.

Much like it did with sports betting, when it waited for other leagues to partner, the NFL is still on the sidelines with patch plans. Revenue from any NFL uniform advertising deal can be expected to exceed that of the other three major North American sports leagues.

The exact type of revenue a patch deal can bring to an NHL team is up for debate.

NHL chief commercial officer Keith Wachtel said the league estimates the patches will be “extremely lucrative across all 32 clubs,” topping $100 million a year.

According to FanAI Inc., a platform that helps sponsors optimize their investments, this estimate can be high.

Adam Holt, FanAI’s senior vice president of sales, estimated that the average value of a patch deal for a team will range from the high six figures to the low single digit millions. Original Six teams should fare better, Holt said.

Part of the challenge the NHL faces, Holt said, is that in most cities, especially in the United States, the team is generally not the No. 1 team in the market. Another factor is placement.

“Just by the nature of the sport itself, it’s going to be a little more difficult because the actual visibility of a jersey patch is going to be very, very limited,” Holt said, “especially if it’s on the in front, just because it’s in the nature of players to be hunched over while playing hockey, unlike the NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.

Wachtel said he’s more than comfortable with the NHL’s potential.

“I’d rather have the NHL pace of play than some other sports,” Wachtel said. “I’m not concerned about a competition with [other pro sports]. Hockey is a great sport. We have a tremendous fan base. »

Michael Silverman can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeSilvermanBB.


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