QUESTION: Do you foresee the NHL allowing massive advertising (such as some overseas leagues) on their jerseys anytime soon, maybe to recoup lost revenue? What's your personal opinion, for or against and why?
TOM T.: The NHL added four new ad spots on the ice a couple years ago, and, if you've ever watched a European game, they still have quite a few places they haven't gone yet on the ice.
The NHL will step up its advertising game because it's inevitable. The losses this season may speed things up, but this was going to happen sooner or later because it's a revenue stream. I don't think it will be as prominent as in soccer, where many teams don't even have their names on their jerseys, just a sponsor. I don't think that will happen for a while. Patches for a sponsor will be the first step.
I find all the ads on European ice rinks incredibly distracting. For that matter, I find European hockey jerseys incredibly distracting, and probably not something that would be to the liking of a lot of North American fans. I think NHL teams would make more money off a jersey with a Blues logo on the front than with a huge Budweiser logo on the front. But a Blues logo with a Bud patch? That will be here soon and I can live with that.
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