Adidas' NHL Deal Could Lead to Uniform Advertisement
Adidas has scored a deal to make the uniforms for the NHL beginning in 2016, which might pave the way for sponsors to make their way onto uniforms.
The Washington Post speculated that the deal could lead to uniform endorsements, similar to both American and European soccer leagues, and the WNBA, which place jersey sponsors on jerseys to generate increased revenue. Major League Soccer also already places ads on the teams' uniforms.
This isn't the first time there has been speculation that uniform sponsors could appear in one of the four major sports in the U.S. (baseball, football, hockey and basketball).
Last September, NHL team presidents turned down a potential $120 million in revenue for jersey sponsorships. The owners, along with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, liked the idea of increased revenue, but didn't want to be the first league to implement the program. The league wanted to wait for the NBA or MLB to do it first.
As we previously reported, the NBA will feature jersey advertisements for the 2017 NBA All-star Game. With the new television deal the league inked last year, networks, such as ESPN and Turner, will get spending guarantees related to ads placed on uniforms during nationally televised games. For example, if a brand advertises on a team's uniform, that brand would commit to buying television advertising during the team's nationally televised games.
If the NBA does decide to place ads on uniforms, that could be enough to push the NHL to do the same in 2016 or 2017, especially now that they have a new company making the sweaters.