Sponsored jerseys could be on their way to the NHL, according to the league’s chief operating officer, John Collins.
On the first day of the 2014 NeuLion Sports Media & Technology Conference, Collins told Sports Business Daily that jersey sponsorship in the league is both “coming and happening.”
Collins didn’t say when this initiative might begin, and it’s unknown at this time how prominent the sponsorships would be displayed on team uniforms, however we can assume it’s unlikely NHL jerseys would end up resembling some of the ones we’ve seen at the Spengler Cup over the years.
Collins added that jersey branding by manufacturers is a form of jersey sponsorship already in use and that the NHL will continue to test digital replacement technology for advertisements along the boards in NHL arenas.
In addition to jersey sponsorship, Collins touched on a number of topics, including the potential of reintroducing the infamous Fox glowing puck from the mid-'90s. Collins said the NHLPA was supportive of the idea, which was bandied about at the NHL's recent Innovation Day—a gathering of league officials, team executives, TV rights holders and current sponsors—that took place Oct. 27 in San Jose.
Collins also said the league is continuing to move forward with plans of hosting a World Cup in 2016 and that the status of NHL players participating in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics is still up in the air.
The World Cup of Hockey would be “our [intellectual property] and the Olympics isn’t,” Collins said.