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Nov 26th


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What’s a Sponsor Logo on an NHL Practice Jersey Worth?

The NHL has relaxed its rules around commercial advertising on team practice jerseys.  The Calgary Flames and Chicago Blackhawks have both acted quickly, recently announcing Rona and Giordano’s Pizzeria, respectively.

So what’s it worth to a sponsor?  It depends.

Sponsors have different brand and awareness strategies, so a logo impression on a practice jersey might be worth more to one sponsor than another.

To that end, it’s difficult to know exactly what each deal will be worth financially, because we don’t know all the other elements in play (for example, we don’t know if having a logo on the practice jersey also means that the sponsor is provided with an opportunity to access and leverage players while they’re wearing the jersey – for interviews, and non-competition broadcast content, etc.).  We also don’t know if there is a team-guaranteed impression count based on television or digital broadcast of practices and player interviews.  And let’s not forget print and non-vide coverage online.

But what we do know is that non-competition content is becoming increasingly important with sports fans.  They’re hungry for it.  The online medium is changing the way fans can interact with players, teams, and brands.  Now, things like behind the scenes videos, player profiling, non-game interviews have all mainstream thanks to the internet – most teams have their own digital ‘channels’ and social media engines.

Digital is also (obviously) revolutionizing the way sponsors can promote their brand association with the property amongst its target audience, but thoughts on this will have to wait for a future blog.

From a property perspective, it creates a win-win: the team can raise the profile of one of their sponsors while adding incremental revenue to their bottom line, and the sponsor benefits from some additional logo exposure.

Logo placement on practice jerseys will not be the right strategic fit for every sponsor, but for the right one, it would provide an additional exposure opportunity – one that links the brand directly with the team and players.

As a sports fan, a brand strategist, and a sponsorship consultant, I don’t have a problem with sponsor logos on NHL practice jerseys.  As long as the NHL is strong enough to monitor and know when to draw the line in order to avoid over-commercialization.

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