Report: NHL teams could raise $15M through helmet ads

Artemi Panarin Rangers NHL
Rangers star Artemi Panarin.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

NHL teams could bring in a combined $15 million by placing sponsors’ ads on helmets in the 2020-21 season, TSN reported Monday.

The Canadian outlet said some higher-profile teams, such as the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs, could command as much as $1 million each, with other teams looking for smaller deals.

Sports Business Daily reported last week that the NHL likely would approve the ad placement for the season. The effort could help clubs recoup some of the money lost by limited or no attendance amid the coronavirus pandemic, but also to give added value to big sponsors. Only one sponsor name would be allowed on a helmet.

The report said that the ads could serve as a pilot program to allow the NHL to gather data about helmet sponsorships and their longer-term market value, which could be worth about $2.5 million for an “average team” beyond this season.

On Sunday, the NHL and NHL Players’ Association announced an agreement on a 56-game regular season that’ll start on Jan. 13 and end on May 8.

Although the NHL’s return to play from the pandemic this summer included a play-in round of playoffs, the plan for this season is a traditional 16-team, best-of-seven, four-round tournament that could last until mid-July. The hope is that the NHL will be able to return to its regular calendar at the conclusion of this season plus the 2021 NHL Draft.

The NBA sells sponsorship patches on its jerseys. In March 2019, when the Oklahoma City Thunder became the final team to add a patch, ESPN said the other 29 teams were bringing in an estimated $150 million per season.

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