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Volume 27 No. 87
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NHL Likely To Approve Helmet Ads Soon

The NHL’s Board of Governors could approve helmet ads for the '20-21 season as early as today, sources tell SBJ. These people said it’s “likely” that the asset will be approved. A Board of Governors call is scheduled for today.

Sources said that the helmet ads for the upcoming season are primarily designed as a make good for naming rights sponsors and founding-level type partners, subject to league approval. The sticker placement of sponsors would be located on both sides of a player’s helmet, sources said, and only one brand would be allowed at a time on the helmet.

Sources said that teams will likely have the option of selecting one brand for all home games and one brand for all away games, but they won’t be able to swap different sponsors throughout the season. It’s currently unclear what the exact size of the sponsor stickers will look like.

Beyond being a make good for significant sponsors, sources characterized the one-year initiative as an opportunity for teams and the league to gather media impression data, on-air screen time and other metrics before potentially taking the new asset to market as part of a larger sponsorship package.

At this time, conversations are ongoing for what helmet ads could look like beyond the '20-21 season, sources said, with one individual referring to the possibility of selling helmet ad sponsorships in the future as a significant revenue opportunity. Chicago-based consulting and analytics firm Navigate estimated that NHL helmet ads would be worth “roughly $2.5 million in fair market value for an average team.”

The American Hockey League, the AAA equivalent of minor pro hockey in North America, has had helmet ads dating back to the mid-1990s, according to a league spokesperson. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman first reported a week ago the possibility of ads on NHL players’ helmets

Read more from this week’s SBJ Marketing newsletter about other pro sports leagues’ increased adoption with advertising on uniforms.