Bettman: Helmet Ads “More Likely Than Not” to Stay in NHL

Welp, so much for just one season…

In an article posted by Mark J. Burns of the Sports Buisness Journal on Thursday, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman revealed that the league will “more likely than not” be bringing back in-game helmet ads for the 2021-22 season.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re on a slippery slope, but in these challenging times, particularly economically, we’ve been focused on making sure that we’re doing the best we can in terms of league rules and when opportunities financially can be presented.”

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to Sports Business Journal (Mar 11, 2021)

The SBJ article claims that NHL teams “retained over $100M in revenue through new sponsorship inventory” but added that not all of the new sponsorship opportunities wouldn’t work once fans return to buildings such as those tarps covering empty seats and the logos peppering the glass surrounding the rink itself.

Heading into an almost entirely fan-free shortened season, the National Hockey League appoved the use of coroporate advertiser’s logos on team helmets for the first time ever for the 2020-21 season. The idea, as announced, was to help teams either recoup on lost revenue or to “make good” on existing partners who didn’t get full value for their deals in the pandemic shortened 2019-20 season.

Many helmet ads are in colours which don’t match the team whatsoever

In the two weeks following the announcement, all thirty-one of the league’s teams filled their helmet inventory, which resulted in the removal of the individual team logos replaced with corporate logos. In several instances these logos are in an entirely different colour scheme than what the team typically wears resulting in some unusual combinations — some examples of this include the black-and-gold Boston Bruins wearing a green TD logo, the similarly coloured Pittsburgh Penguins who are wearing a powder blue PPG logo, and the blue-and-white Toronto Maple Leafs wearing a bright red Scotiabank logo. Both the Penguins and Leafs are wearing these mismatched colours on just the white version of their helmets.