Near the end of the season, with its high-profile Stanley Cup Finals going on, the NHL has outperformed all major professional sports leagues when it comes to sponsorship revenue for its teams -- up 21% this year to $1.2 billion for the 2022-2023 season, according to SponsorUnited.
In addition, two teams in the finals, -- the Vegas Golden Knights and Florida Panthers -- have the most sponsors for any team -- a 20% advantage over the rest of the league. The two teams average 124 sponsorship deals.
Top sponsors for the Golden Knights: Credit One Bank, Allegiant Air, and T-Mobile. The Panthers list includes BMW, JetBlue, and Stoli Vodka.
Overall the league’s “most active” NHL brands: In the U.S. this includes Adidas, BioSteel, Discover, Bud Light and Toyota; in Canada, Scotiabank, Ford Motor, Adidas, Canadian Tire, and Rogers
The NHL outpaces other sports. The NBA -- also in action currently with its NBA Finals -- is up 8% ($100 million) to $1.4 billion for the 2022-2023 season.
The NFL -- which leads all major sports leagues -- grew 14% to $2.1 billion in its most recent 2022 season over the previous year.
Overall, NHL team sponsorship revenue witnessed many rising categories. The leading category, financial, is up 34% to $219.4 million, while automotive has gained 25% (to $105.5 million), media sponsors grew 108% ($50.3 million), and sports betting/fantasy added 66% ($50.7 million).
Key for all teams are new virtually/digitally enhanced "Dasherboards," for which 700 brands have used the media activation.
Dasherboards are those are sideboards around the ice in arenas, visible via TV cameras during play action. Nearly 80% of NHL sponsor deals include this virtual signage.
Both the Knights and Panthers have increased their overall sponsorship deals to 4.5 versus the league-wide average of 2.5.
SponsorUnited’s sports/entertainment platform comes from over 10 million data points, 1.1 million deals, and 250,000 brands across sports, entertainment, media, and talent.