Many hockey fans have been dreading the introduction of advertising on jerseys since NHL chief operating officer John Collins said in an interview last November that jersey sponsorship is “coming and happening.”
An NHL uniform is a sacred thing and it's an honor to wear one. Putting corporate sponsors on the front would tarnish that. Don't do it— Blake Wheeler (@BiggieFunke) August 18, 2015
Wheeler was reacting to a story first reported by TSN on Monday that the NHL had reached a lucrative new deal with Adidas to become the league’s official jersey manufacturer beginning with the 2016-17 season. The deal will reportedly net the NHL twice the $35 million it currently receives annually from Reebok, a brand owned by Adidas.
The report led to speculation that a major jersey re-design may be on the way—one that may include the introduction of corporate logos similar to what’s seen in European hockey leagues.
The NHL currently allows for sponsor logos to be patched onto practice jerseys, but the only logo allowed on game jerseys is that of the manufacturer.
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