NHL jersey advertising could begin as early as the 2022-23 season, according to Mark J. Burns of the Sports Business Journal. However, nothing has been approved or finalized by the league's Board of Governors. Burns writes:
"In recent weeks, NHL clubs have been conducting valuation work — some with third-party sports sponsorship and marketing agencies as well as valuation firms — to determine what a jersey patch and helmet decal could both be worth before eventually providing that data to the league, sources said. In other words, what's the business and revenue case for formally adopting the new sponsorship assets, some sources described."
The location of a jersey patch is being discussed and evaluated, Burns adds. It could be placed on the chest or shoulder, and sizing is currently unclear.
This news comes after the NHL implemented helmet decal advertising and virtual slot signage for the 2020-21 season due to financial losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, teams have retained more than $100 million in revenue through the new sponsorship inventory.
If jersey ads are implemented, the NHL would join the NBA and MLS as one of the only professional sports leagues in the United States to have advertisements on jerseys. The NBA added jersey advertisements during the 2017-18 season, and MLS added jersey sleeve sponsorships in 2020.
Many NHL fans aren't thrilled with the advertisements on jerseys, but they'd likely be minor, similar to the NBA's.