This abomination may happen in the NHL
I know it sounds crazy, ads on an NHL jersey, but don't think it will never happen. European leagues like the SEL have been putting ads on their jerseys for years. A recent article brought to my attention that the NBA and NHL have been softening on the use of advertisements on their jerseys.
The USA Today
published an article that got my mind going.
For those who are not in the "know" the NFL recently allowed teams to sell ad space on their practice jerseys. There are five teams who have done this so far, New York Giants, St. Louis Rams, New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears. The article goes on to say:The Jets will get more than $2 million a year from a deal with Atlantic Health that includes practice uniform patches and its name on the team's training facility, says Matthew Higgins, the team's executive vice president of business operations.
An extra two million dollars for something that many people will not see? WHAT!? The WNBA (insert not a real sport here joke) have already cashed in on this market as two of its more prominent teams sport advertisements on the front of their jerseys.
So this begs the real question,
WILL THE NHL DO THIS?
My answer is yes. Now, I have nothing to back up what I say, but take a look at the world we live in today. I am going to say something that may bring shock to you, so brace yourselves. Hockey is barely thriving in America. The NHL has done a terrible job marketing itself to fans and in return have been losing attendance in some areas such as Phoenix, Tampa and other locations.
In such a down economy, selling advertisement space seems like a logical way to make money. Currently, the only "new" thing that the NHL does is they sell virtual board space during their Versus and NBC broadcasts, but the problem is that the MLB already does this.
The NHL already has advertisements on the ice and on the boards, so how far does the jersey take this? Remember when the MLB put Spider-Man ads atop the bases? People had a conniption!
I am really on the fence about placing advertisements on jerseys. The P-Bruins already do it, but you buy the jerseys without the ads, which make sense. They also have a small ad under the shoulder on their jersey, the last I saw being a Dodge Ram one.
Seems no one has a problem with that and neither do I. A Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Ford...whatever ad under the shoulder of a Bruins jersey isn't going to make me less of a fan. However, once the ads pile on like the first picture and it begins to taint the sport.
Like I mentioned earlier, money is a HUGE factor these days and companies will pay for the exposure. Why do you think they pay for naming rights of a stadium? A company will more than likely pay a pretty penny to get their logo on ANY type of jersey because someone will see it.
So what do you think? Advertisements on a jersey good, bad? Is the size of the ad a factor?
I'll leave you with a jersey worn by the Michigan K-Wings of the ECHL:
Beauty ain't she?