Try not to freak out, but there will be advertising on the jerseys at the upcoming World Cup.
The NHL announced today that software company SAP will be the “official sponsor for all game-worn home and away jerseys for duration of the tournament.”
As such, there will an SAP shoulder patch on the jerseys, but only on the game-worn ones. The jerseys that fans can buy will not have them.
Now, this does not mean that advertising on NHL jerseys is imminent. Perhaps it’s inevitable down the line, but commissioner Gary Bettman said only last year that he was in “no rush to put advertising on our sweaters.”
“I like the history and tradition and the way they look,” he said. “I’ve repeatedly said we wouldn’t be the first and you’d probably have to bring me kicking and screaming.”
Paving the way for today’s announcement, Bettman added that “the World Cup jerseys don’t have the same legacy, as far as I’m concerned, that our regular jerseys have.”
For the record, San Jose Sharks owner Hasso Plattner is a co-founder of SAP. The company will also partner with the NHL and NHLPA to provide “player and puck-tracking technology” for the World Cup.