NHL jersey announcements – everything you need to know before the 2022-23 season begins

Hockey fans have long considered the Montreal Canadiens jersey a sacred garment. It is the symbol of the most famous NHL franchise. He even inspired a children’s book called “The Hockey Sweater”.

But when the Canadians introduced a new team leader Nick Suzuki Last week, lovers”blue white and red“Let’s go out together”blue heart! When they spotted New addition to the shirt: RBC advertising patch on the right shoulder.

For many fans, that was the moment the truth came out: the ads on NHL jerseys are here, and the hockey jersey will never be the same.

Immediately, fans started speculating about how long it would take to add a second ad and then more after that. Pictures of NASCAR soccer players and European hockey jerseys that resemble billboards on skates have been shared on social media to illustrate this concern.

“I can’t even tell you that I heard about it [those concerns] Prior to this week, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daley told ESPN, adding that there had been “no discussion or thought about expanding the patch program” within the NHL.

The NHL has been sliding toward jersey ads for more than a decade. It first allowed advertisements for training shirts in 2010. Meanwhile, the AHL, ECHL, NWHL and European associations made shirt sponsorships commonplace.

The NHL and NHLPA have placed advertisements on the 2016 Hockey World Cup jerseys, leading to speculation that new official adidas will be advertising the NHL team.

Although that door opened, Commissioner Gary Pittman said at the time that the NHL “certainly wouldn’t be the first” of the Big Four sports in North America to allow ads on regular season or play-off shirts.

You have to pull me up kicking and screaming, he said, before admitting, “We know our exposure value. Can anyone go through that math and come up with a number? The answer is yes.”

It was the NBA that helped fill the equation. In 2017, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that it would allow 2.5″ x 2.5″ ad patches on its game jerseys for the 2017-18 season. The program was a success, generating over $150 million in additional revenue and attracting new advertisers to the association.

In August 2021, the NHL Board of Governors approved a jersey proclamation commencing in the 2022-23 regular season.

Correct one ad. nothing else. So far.

If you asked Bettman, he’d say he wouldn’t expand beyond one ad, said Keith Wachel, the NHL’s chief business officer and executive vice president for global partnerships.

“But we also had the attitude, like all of the league, to say we weren’t going to put an ad on our shirt,” Wachille said. “So you never want to say ‘never’ but that’s not for the foreseeable future.”

We spoke with Wachtel and others to get more clarity on other concerns expressed by fans regarding the T-shirt advertising program, to learn more about its economics, and to look forward to what could happen in the future.

Where will the ads be placed on the T-shirts?

The advertisements for the NHL jersey will be slightly larger than the advertisements for the NBA. Will fit 3″ x 3.5″ space on sweaters. Instead of a square patch, they will use whatever logo the sponsor requests, provided it fits.

The NHL dedicates four spots to jersey announcements: the left and right shoulders, and the right and left chest.

“In the current program, it’s one patch, just one area,” Wachtel said.

It wasn’t the NHL that pushed for the restriction on a single jersey sponsor, but the comments it received from teams that set that standard. Wachtel cited the law of diminishing returns for difference.

“The more banners you put out there, the less value there could be. So clubs wanted to use one ad. That’s what we’ll have for the foreseeable future. There has never been a discussion about [ads]. “It’s one brand on the jacket,” he said.

The NHL said the front of a jacket isn’t necessarily more valuable real estate than placing an ad on the shoulders.

“The analysis will show that the shoulder, in some ways depending on the angle of the camera, will get more exposure than the forehead,” Wachel said. “With the NBA, it’s clear where the advertising has to go. I think marketers are taking a wait-and-see approach to see what’s most impactful. [in the NHL]. “

Can fans buy NHL jerseys without ads on them?

definitely. Authentic adidas T-shirts sold online will not have sponsor patches on them. The NHL’s shirt ad policy states that teams must apply the sponsor’s patch in arena stores only if fans request it – or else they will have the opportunity to purchase an original shirt without the patch.

Wachtel said this setting could change in the future. As of now, this is the only way fans can get the patch.

According to Fanatics, the replica “Breakaway” fan jerseys will also not contain sponsor patches for the 2022-23 season. Essentially, any jersey purchased from an NHL e-commerce store will not have a jersey patch.

What ads it’s not Shirt allowed?

Not all ads are the same. The league sees a difference between what can run as a commercial, and what gets space on dashboards or what’s displayed on players’ shirts. Hence, the NHL is taking a more conservative approach to the latter category, according to Watchel.

The NHL prohibits any jersey patches that advertise alcohol – spirits, beer – tobacco products, marijuana, or anything of a sexual nature. The league will also not allow consumer product licensing ads that may conflict with a partner like the bigots.

One of the more complicated calls was on cryptocurrencies, which the league allows over other forms of advertising. Wachtel noted that the volatility in this market does not align well with the multi-year commitment of the T-shirt announcement, even when the Los Angeles Kings play in a eponymous arena for a crypto company, for example.

“On the banners, as my league, we allow crypto. But we have to be careful just given the long-term nature of these deals, which range from three to five years,” Wachtel said.

One category the NHL allows: sports betting ads, but with some specific restrictions.

The NHL made ads on its helmet in the 2020-21 season. During the first two years of this program, advertisements from sports betting companies were not allowed. But that rule has been waived for helmets and T-shirt ads starting this season.

Since sports betting is legal in some states and not others, betting companies’ ads can only appear on the home jerseys and helmets of teams in the states where it is legal.

Were there any guidelines from the league about making the ads look as aesthetic as the shirts they’re wearing?

The NHL approves all T-shirt ads, not just in content but in “creative as well,” according to Watchel. He works with adidas, teams, and brands to design ads to make them look as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Wachtel cites Caesars Sportsbook ads with Washington Capitals and Circa Sports with the Vegas Golden Knights as two of the best examples of this blending.

“We want to balance the importance, heritage, and history of our sweaters, but with this new reality and opportunity that we have,” Wachl said. “I think we did that with the deals we announced.”

Will every ad team have a jersey?

As of mid-September, the Arizona Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, Canadians, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, Golden Knights and Capitals have announced shirt advertising partnerships.

But Wachtel said the majority of NHL teams will not have a patch sponsor this season. This was something the NBA experienced when I started selling uniform ads. Wachtel estimates that about half of NHL teams will have a jersey ad patch at some point this season.

Wachtel said there was no rush to get these ads done before the 2022-23 season. The NHL has advised teams that they can sell advertising space during the season or even in the post-season. Or, in some cases, don’t do it at all “until they get the value” they’re looking for in a multi-year partnership. As one NHL team source put it, the market is “overwhelmed” when it comes to advertising at the moment.

“We didn’t expect all the teams to walk out of the gate because we want to protect the value of the assets,” Wachel said. And some people just want to see what [the program] Resembles. We are actually pleased that many of our clubs are taking a wait-and-see approach.”

The NHL expects the majority of its teams to have a shirt advertising partner in the 2023-24 season.

How much money can jersey ads generate?

All revenue generated from jersey advertising goes to hockey-related revenue, which is divided equally between teams and players according to a collective bargaining agreement.

The amount of revenue varies by club. It depends on the market, the success of the team and other factors. It can also depend on where the ad is placed on the shirt.

“We have some clubs that got really good deals for all of their jackets. Then there are some clubs that the market decided they would pay more on a per-game basis but didn’t want to buy ad space in aggregate,” Wachel explained. “This allows for more demand in the second half, because it is less expensive than the whole.”

Wachtel said the NHL is “ahead” as it expects to be in jersey ad sales and see deals get done “which are bigger than we expected.”

As far as advertising generates, a sponsor who buys a patch for a home and road jersey can charge more than $10 million, according to the NHL. One team executive told ESPN that he expects his team to generate more revenue from the T-shirt ad than it does from an arena naming rights deal.

Finally, is this shirt advertising program the start of a “slippery slope” for ad-covered NHL uniforms as we see in the European leagues or NASCAR?

Hockey fans have all seen the worst case scenarios for T-shirt ads: Those are the Europa League shirts which has sponsor brands on every piece of equipment, from the helmet to the socks.

When jersey ads were first approved, Penguins president David Morehouse said the NHL would never go that route.

“Gary [Bettman] “We would never allow anything to be put on our shirts that would make them look like NASCAR or Europa League hockey,” said Morehouse, now a senior advisor to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Get close to this.”

Now that ads have arrived, the NHL continues to say that first shirt ads aren’t a slippery slope to total ad saturation.

“It’s a little patch,” Wachel said. “We know how important the front of the jacket is. There’s no reason to change that.” “Anyone who gets hysteria about it is listening to the wrong hype or they are on Twitter. We have no intention of doing anything like NASCAR or what they do in European sports.

“We still have delicious ice. We have delicious plates. We’ve done it very tastefully too.”