Those describing the World Cup of Hockey as primarily a money-making venture got more ammo for their arguments on Thursday, as TSN reported the NHL and NHLPA are expected to implement advertisements on jerseys for the 2016 event:
Recently, in the wake of the NHL’s announcement of the eight-team World Cup of Hockey, sponsors say they expect the league and NHLPA to be aggressive with its marketing efforts. NHL officials have said privately that they hope the tournament generates close to $100 million. (The league recently sold the World Cup’s Canadian TV rights to Rogers Communications for about $30 million, NHL sources tell TSN.)
The NHL has informed sponsors that it will feature about eight categories of sponsorships for the World Cup, selling each for about $1.5 million. To have a corporate logo featured on a team jersey would probably cost about $2 million per team, sources tell TSN.
Buying the jersey rights to all eight teams would probably cost about $6 million.
TSN followed up with NHL COO John Collins and NHLPA spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon, and both confirmed jersey ads are being contemplated. They did add, however, that no final decision had been made yet.
Collins might’ve foreshadowed this development back in November, though, when he told SportsBusiness Journal that jersey sponsorship was “coming” to the NHL.
Collins actually said jersey sponsorship is both “coming and happening,” citing the manufacturer branding already on jerseys…
As for other organizations, the NBA is also reportedly exploring ads on its jerseys but has yet to make the move. It seems most of the big North American professional sports leagues are hesitant to be the first to take the plunge; in that light, it’s easy to see why the NHL and NHLPA would use the World Cup as a sort of litmus test to gauge reactions and fan response.