Greg Wysh at Puck Daddy posted up an interesting topic yesterday: ads on NHL jerseys.
If you've ever seen file photos of guys who have played or are playing hockey overseas (Janne Pesonen), then you're likely aware of the prevalence of sponsorships and ads on team jerseys. Not to mention the ad revenue potential that comes with such endorsements. But does this approach have a place in the NHL?
The players know jersey ads can generate tons of dough, and the Europeans in the NHL come from places where the commercialization of the sweater is the norm.
The owners know jersey ads can generate tons of dough, and lord knows they'll squeeze out every dime if given the green light.
Really, we're left with nothing but questions. What is it exactly that steers the league away from dotting the jersey, shin guards and helmet with ads? Would the commercialization turn you away from hockey?
Soccer, easily one of the biggest sports in the world, relies heavily on huge sponsorship deals. If a non-soccer fan sees a picture of a Manchest United jersey, it's hard to decipher the team based on the jersey. You'd think it was just a bunch of investors running around after a ball until you look closely at the team seal.
Look at your Penguins jersey. Right now. See that logo down on the bottom left that says Reebok? Is that not a sponsorship of sorts?
Some would argue that selling ad space on team jerseys turns the sport into NASCAR. I don't buy it, but I will also say that the last thing I want to see is an ad for heart medication over a player's chest, Advil/Tylenol on his helmet and a Viagra sponsorship on his...
Frankly, and maybe I'm in the minority for saying this, but I could care less. As long as Crosby doesn't have his visor sponsored by Fig Newtons, a la Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights, I don't see how a player's jersey impacts things at all. But I'm only one opinion in a blog of many. What's your take?