Sportico reported earlier today that the NHL has approved ads on jerseys for all 32 teams for its 2022-23 season. So that means in two years (not this season) you’ll see an ad on New York Islanders jerseys.
I know that NHL jerseys are sacred to North American fans, but in today’s NHL, placing an ad on the jersey is necessary because of the economic climate the league finds itself in.
New York Islanders fans shouldn’t worry about ads on jerseys
The NHL, just like every other professional sports league, spent the last few years losing money. With no fans in seats teams didn’t have the same revenues as they’d previously enjoyed. None of the big North American leagues are hit harder by no fans in seats than the NHL.
By some estimates, 35-40% of the NHL’s revenues are from gate receipts (ticket sales). To compare the NBA is at 19%, 15% for the NFL, and 29% for the MLB. So any extra revenue stream is a bonus for this league, not only as it tries to recover from the still ongoing COVID pandemic but for the long-term health of the league.
According to Sportico the NBA was able to raise an estimated $150 million in revenues from its jersey patch program. Remember the NBA has had ads on jerseys since the 2017-18 season. Now the NHL won’t likely bring in the same revenues on its program but this is found money for the NHL.
The ads on helmets brought roughly $15 million in revenue for the NHL, but remember most of those ad agreements were “make-good” deals for major sponsors so some didn’t generate any revenues.
And look, we’ve all been through this before. Remember the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto a few years back? Remember how Team North America dazzled us all and how an unlikely Team Europe made it all the way to the finals? Oh, and do you remember the ads on those jerseys?
I’m sure you remember those first two and not that last one. Because the ads were small and didn’t interfere with the game nor the viewing of the game.
This is an issue right now, but I guarantee you that it won’t be an issue for long.