Competitive Edge - Sports & Entertainment Marketing News

NHL’s New Helmet Ads Have Support of Younger, More Affluent Fans


When the NBA introduced sponsored jersey patches in 2017, uniform advertising became a “when, not if” proposition for the rest of North America’s most prominent leagues. And with the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking financial havoc on the sports industry, that “when” is now for two of the country’s major team sports.

Fortunately for the NHL, which is allowing teams to feature brand logos on players’ helmets for the first time when the season kicks off Wednesday, and MLB, which industry insiders say isn’t far behind, polling indicates the majority of fans don’t take issue with uniform sponsorships in professional sports. In fact, younger, more affluent fans tend to support corporate branding in sports, including on jerseys and helmets.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What is market research?
  2. Why might a sports or entertainment organization like the NHL invest in market research?
  3. Lesson 2.7 in your textbook references a concept called the paradox of commercialism. What does that mean?
  4. What did the NHL learn from this particular market research project?
  5. What type of sports fan seems to be most opposed to advertising on player uniforms?
  6. Are you personally opposed to advertising on helmets or jerseys?
  7. Why might the NHL and its teams be willing to place a logo on player helmets?
  8. Do you think the league will eventually feature brand logos on player jerseys?
  9. How might the NHL adjust their marketing strategy based on information from what they learned from this market research project?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.


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