Placing advertisements on jerseys seems like one of the most inevitable developments of the future for the four major sports leagues in North America. The NBA is clearly heading down that path, and with NFL teams using their practice jerseys to sell ad space, you have to believe that the NFL has at least thought about maybe moving those small patches to the regular uniforms. But would the NHL go through with it someday?
The answer to that question, for now at least, is no. Rick Westhead of TSN is reporting that the NHL team presidents met recently and discussed placing advertisements on jerseys and although the league could stand to make at least $120 million off of a potential ad deal, the league has said no. However, there’s an interesting nugget that was buried in the article:
“Gary (Bettman) and owners like the money, but they don’t want to be first out of the box with this in North America,” the person told TSN. “They’ll wait for the NBA or baseball to do it and then be second or third.”
So, it’s not that they don’t want to put advertisements on their jerseys, it’s just that they don’t want to be known as the first to do it. I suppose this means that if the pro sports leagues were all a group of kids, the NHL would be that kid who would actually jump off of a bridge because their friends did it, too. But that’s a bit of a digression. I guess we should be glad that the NHL is deciding not to take the lead on this, because this means that for however long the other leagues stall on this, then the NHL will stall as well.
So, what do you guys think? Will the NHL ever go to advertisements on jerseys? And if they do, how soon do you think it will happen and do you think they’ll eventually turn into NASCAR on ice like their friends in Europe?