TORONTO (AP) The World Cup of Hockey next month will include advertisements on jerseys as well as puck and player tracking technology for broadcasts.
The NHL and NHLPA announced the ventures Wednesday, as well as plans for fan initiatives in Toronto throughout the two-week event. The tracking technology will include elements like puck speed, player speed and distance traveled, all aimed to benefit television viewers.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman called it a test run for potential use during the regular season. The league used the technology at last season's All-Star Game.
''If you're a fan, you can have more and more insights to the game,'' said Bettman. ''And if you're a casual fan - or not a fan at all - this may give you another reason to connect even more with the game.''
SAP was announced as the sponsor advertising for game-worn sweaters, though Bettman said it was not a sign of things to come for the NHL. The NBA recently announced that it would begin advertising on its jerseys starting in the 2017-18 season.
''Nobody should say that that means the next step is to put them on NHL jerseys,'' Bettman said. ''I am a believer in the history, tradition and exactly how special NHL sweaters are. And while these World Cup jerseys have been designed from scratch and are spectacular, it's not necessarily the same as the NHL sweaters.''
Digitally enhanced dasher boards will also be used for ads during games.
Bettman said 90 percent of the tickets have been sold for the World Cup. He said nothing has been decided on future World Cup events, though the hope is that it is staged on a regular basis, perhaps every four years.