European leagues like Russia's KHL have had ads on their jerseys for several years.
The NHL had a very lucrative chance to become a trendsetter among the big four American professional sports, but the league isn’t quite ready for that sort of change — at least not yet.
TSN reported Wednesday that the league has decided — for now — against putting corporate logos on jerseys. According to TSN, the NHL estimated the move would have made the league an extra $120 million in revenue.
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"Gary (Bettman) and owners like the money, but they don’t want to be first out of the box with this in North America," a source told TSN. "They’ll wait for the NBA or baseball to do it and then be the second or third."
The NHL apparently doesn’t want to break away from tradition — at least not yet.
Having corporate sponsor logos on jerseys isn’t totally foreign in American sports. Major League Soccer teams have corporate logos on their jerseys, and many teams in various leagues — including the NHL — already feature corporate logos on practice jerseys.
The NHL’s top minor league — the American League Hockey League — already showcases corporate logos on game jerseys.