Ads on NHL jerseys really aren’t that bad


Is it understandable that the NHL now allows teams to have ads on their jerseys — or is it just greedy?

By now, everyone has probably seen the blue and yellow RBC logo slapped onto the Montreal Canadiens’ classic red jerseys. And it’s not pretty.

The National Hockey League (NHL) introduced ads on helmets last season, and now with the  NHL’s Jersey Advertising Program, some teams have decided to go with ads on jerseys too.

Like in any sport, hockey teams have sponsors. They have ads on the boards as well as on the ice, both painted and projected. Now with jersey ads, some are wondering how far the NHL is willing to go.

Will NHL jerseys end up looking like uniforms in Europe, where they have multiple ads on the jerseys, shorts, and socks?

I highly doubt it.

European teams need these sponsors to survive. NHL teams don’t.

However, hockey is a business, and if there is a way for teams to make extra money, I don’t see anything wrong with that.

While this isn’t the case for the Canadiens, a lot of teams made it work, including the Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Minnesota Wild.

But where do we draw the line?

Thankfully, the ad patches are an option when buying jerseys, so they’re avoidable.

Does it still look weird when you watch a game and see a blue patch on the Habs’ jersey? Absolutely. But will people get used to it? Eventually.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has ads on jerseys — barely noticeable ads — that are small and blend in well with the colours of their respective teams.

If the Canadiens had just made an effort to make the RBC patch less noticeable, it wouldn’t have received such a strong and negative reaction.

Fans even made designs themselves, and some are better than the actual patch the Habs chose.

In the end, whether we like it or not, we live in a capitalist society where everyone welcomes a bigger revenue.

As is the case for other kinds of ads, people will soon forget about these jersey patches and it’ll just become the new normal.

As long as one ad doesn’t become two or three in a few years, and that (hopefully) the Habs choose a more discreet patch next, Habs fans will come around.

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