Why Ads On NHL Jerseys Aren’t A Bad Thing

I can understand the outrage when hints are dropped that ads on NHL jerseys are coming. No group of fans holds its teams uniforms up on a pedestal more than hockey fans. I’m sure most of us have had nightmares of NHL players looking like human race cars or even worse, soccer players. However, what has been missed by many is that the AHL has allowed their teams to sell 4″x4″ ads on their jerseys for more than three decades. Not every AHL team has ads on their uniforms, but every team has the option to.

TSN’s Rick Westmead tweeted out an image of the Rochester Americans, who have a small Toyota ad on their jerseys:

If the NHL were to allow ads on the jerseys, that does not necessarily mean every team will rush out to sell ads on their uniforms. I can see teams like the New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, and even the New Jersey Devils hesitant to mess with tradition. If you think every team will be unable to ignore the cash grab, don’t forget that the Devils have never had a third jersey, despite it being the easiest way to generate merchandise revenue right now.

Instead, I see teams that are desperate for revenue like the Florida Panthers and the Arizona Coyotes opting to sell some ad space on their jerseys and helmets to help the bottom line during the season. Twitter tells me that no one really watches either of these teams any way, so is it really worth losing sleep over?

And to those saying they wouldn’t buy a jersey that has an ad on it, I suggest you look at the back collar, as well as the left sleeve…congrats you’re already a walking billboard for Reebok and a supporter of sweat-shops. How do you sleep at night!?!

In all seriousness though, ads would be a great way for some of the teams in the NHL to generate some revenue. It doesn’t have to mean slapping advertisements on every square inch of the jersey, but a small ad on the chest won’t be terrible. If anything, it will finally do away with the rediculous chest numbers the San Jose Sharks still insist upon using.