NHL Thinks With Its Head: Sells Ad Space On Helmets

Veteran TV-centric sports teams could be in financial trouble, given the pandemic. Are new kinds of advertising and promotion a remedy?

Three NHL teams — the Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils, and Nashville Predators — are now selling space on their helmets, specifically to their respective arenas where marketers have branding deals.

That means logos/names of Capital One (Capital One Arena), Prudential (Prudential Center), and Bridgestone (Bridgestone Arena), will be on the helmets of the Capitals, Devils, and Predators for the start of new season being next month with a shortened 56-game schedule.

Speaking to the Associated Pres, Chris Junghans, CRO of the Nashville Predators, says: "Teams are in a big hole." Financially speaking that is, due to a shortened game season of a year ago, followed by another shortened season starting in 2021.

All this comes, in part, from the lack of fans in stands. A key piece of revenue for professional sports teams -- in addition to big TV revenues -- comes from ticket sales.



Before the pandemic, the NHL was considering following in the footsteps of the NBA in selling sponsorships on sports uniforms, where company logos have been placed since the 2017-2018 season.

The helmet-advertising is more of an emergency measure. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the move was an "unusual circumstance."

No fans were allowed to see NBA basketball live, due to pandemic issues that forced teams to play entirely in the Orlando bubble. This coming year, teams can play -- for the most part -- in their home arenas, with limited live fans in arenas.

Expanding on this might mean revenue tightening issues for other professional sports teams, such as baseball, basketball, football, What other ways can they raise revenue -- marketing or otherwise -- as the pandemic will remain for months to come?

Will there be more video messaging in stadiums to get limited fans attention? Will Major League Baseball batting helmets have advertising? I’m thinking Tylenol for headaches.

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