NHL jersey ads are reportedly coming in time for the 2022-23 season, according to Sportico’s Eben Novy-Williams and Scott Soshnick.
The league’s Board of Governors unanimously approved the idea and teams can now begin negotiating deals with interested sponsors. The patches will measure a 3 inches by 3.5 inches.
Mark J. Burns of Sports Business Journal reported in April that teams had started determining how much revenue could be generated by the ad patches before presenting the data to the league.
NBA jerseys have featured ads since 2017-18, a move that has reportedly generated over $150 million annually.
This was always coming
Ads have been a part of the NHL uniforms in some form for several years now. Most teams have a sponsor featured on their practice jerseys. For example, the Kings have a deal with McDonald’s while the Capitals have gone with a MedStar Health patch.
Helmet ads were approved for the 2020-21 season, and after initially being a one-year experiment, they’re here to stay. Teams were able to recoup over $100 million, according to Commissioner Gary Bettman, as they felt the financial squeeze brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The idea of jersey ads in the NHL was inevitable. (Former league chief operating officer John Collins said they were “coming and happening” in all sports back in 2014.) Bettman has previously said the league wouldn’t be the first to move in that direction, saying in 2015, “you’d probably have to drag me kicking and screaming, which would take a lot of money.”
Money always talks, and as Bettman stated in July, with the current financial state of the league, it was not an idea to be immediately dismissed.
“It’s something that makes good sense for us to be considering and looking at but certainly not for next season,” Bettman said. “Beyond that, I’m not prepared to predict but it’s something we’re looking at.”
There’s no word yet if NHL jerseys sold online and in stores will feature the sponsor patches. The replica and authentic jerseys you can purchase through the NBA and its teams do not have ads on them.