The National Hockey League has approved the placement of advertisement logos on in-game team jerseys starting with the 2022-23 season, this according to a report this morning from Sportico.
The report says teams will be permitted to place a corporate logo patch on their jerseys and it must be able to “fit a rectangle 3 inches by 3.5 inches”, this is larger than the 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch ad patch worn on NBA jerseys.
Sportico reports that the plan was unanimously approved by all 32 clubs, so yeah, it would seem even the most traditional-minded of clubs such as the Habs, Rangers, and Leafs all said “let’s go!”
While the ads can’t be worn on jerseys until October 2022, teams are now able to begin working on these deals, again according to the report.
The NHL avoided the use of advertiser logos on uniforms for its first 103 seasons before the financial burdens of the pandemic necessitated for the addition of advertiser logos to player helmets for “just one season” in 2020-21. Players will continue to wear these “one season only” helmet ads for a second season starting this fall.
I’m not going to mince words. While not totally unexpected, this news sucks.
Yes, placing an ad directly on a jersey is very common practice in Europe and elsewhere around the world, but it was that clean ad-free look that most North America’s major teams sported that they were just so much more special than the others. They just looked that more professional and gave the message that this league, this team is doing so well that they don’t need to resort to placing ads on their jerseys, this space is instead reserved for our logo, our colours, our names, our numbers.
I suppose I can’t complain too much considering I have (note: extremely necessary) ads on this site to keep things running. Still… I’d like to think that I would remove all of them if I was in a position to render them unnecessary.
It is what it is. Let’s just hope the others hold out a little longer, though I can’t imagine it’ll be too much longer before we see Major League Baseball follow along.