NHL Team Helmet Sponsors

With the global COVID-19 pandemic dragging on and wreaking financial havoc now on a second National Hockey League (NHL) season, the NHL has, for the first time, permitted clubs to place corporate partner logos on player helmets.

For the shortened (56-game) 2020-21 season, teams may display a partner logo decal up to 2.25″ by 3.75″ on each side of all helmets. If desired, teams were allowed to split the space up and have one partner for home helmets and another for their away buckets. (The Florida Panthers carved out practice helmets for partner, Baptist Health, while giving Ford home and away game placement.)

Why? As one NHL executive put it to TSN’s Rick Westhead, “Do you know how much money we are going to lose without customers in arenas? We are hemorrhaging money and we need to find any possible option for keeping our people employed.”

The NHL reportedly is looking to bring in $15 million with the stickers, or in NHL parlance, “entitlement partnerships,” per Westhead. Reports pegged the high-end asking price at $1 million for the top handful of clubs. However, the actual “new money” changing hands will likely be much lower. Most of, if not all, the deals at “full-price” actually is not “found” money, but “rescued” dollars coming from those used as make-goods.

A key sign? Out of 40 different helmet logo partners, 23 (58 percent) are naming partners of one kind or another: 20 are existing arena naming partners, two are practice facility partners and one (UBS) is the naming partner of a new venue under construction.

While nearly two-thirds of bucket ads are existing top-tier sponsors, only two teams were able to utilize the inventory for new partners: the Detroit Red Wings and Los Angeles Kings.

The Red Wings are the only team with a new corporate partner, using their new real estate to launch a new deal with United Wholesale Mortgage.

In the best (and only) community use, the Kings worked with sister-company AEG Global Partnerships to partner with a very timely organization: California HOPE. CalHOPE is a crisis counseling program that focuses on mental health and wellness during the pandemic and is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and run by the California Department of Health Care Services. This deal has generated positive publicity for the Kings, boosted awareness for CalHOPE’s much-needed services and, at the same time, generated that elusive new money.

Along the community angle, we do have to hand out kudos to multiple teams who are using autographed, game worn helmets for fancentric giveaways (such as the Edmonton Oilers below), including a few who are activating with their team’s foundation and a community partner as part of their giveaways such as the New Jersey Devils with Prudential or the Chicago Blackhawks and United.

The Chicago Blackhawks Foundation, with United as the inaugural corporate partner, used the helmet logo announcement to launch “Support West,” a small business grant recovery program that will award one-time $5,000 grants for working capital purposes to minority-owned small businesses impacted by COVID-19 and located in Chicago’s West Side neighborhoods.

And finally, the most common brand? Bell Canada with three Canadian teams. Rogers and Scotiabank are just behind, also in the Great White North (Division), with both on two team helmets. We’ll give the nod to Scotia as the also “own” the division, this season!

A breakdown of each team’s helmet sponsors, by 2020-21 divisions
Team Helmet Partner Existing relationship Revealed Away Helmet (if different) Revealed Existing relationship
SCOTIA NORTH DIVISION
Calgary Flames Scotiabank Venue naming Jan 4, 2021
Edmonton Oilers Rogers Venue naming Jan 8, 2021
Montréal Canadiens Bell Venue naming Dec 23, 2020
Ottawa Senators Bell Naming-practice Jan 6, 2021 Canadian Tire Jan 6, 2021 Venue naming
Toronto Maple Leafs Scotiabank Venue naming Jan 4, 2021
Vancouver Canucks Rogers Venue naming Jan 7, 2021
Winnipeg Jets Bell Venue naming Jan 4, 2021
HONDA WEST DIVISION
Anaheim Ducks Pacific Premier Bank Official Business Bank Jan 14, 2021
Arizona Coyotes Mountain America CU Official Debit Card Jan 4, 2021 Dignity Health Jan 5, 2021 Presenting sponsor
Colorado Avalanche Ball Corporation Venue naming Jan 13, 2021
Los Angeles Kings California HOPE NEW Non-profit Jan 14, 2021
Minnesota Wild Xcel Energy Venue naming Jan 8, 2021
San Jose Sharks SAP Venue naming Jan 12, 2021 Zoom Jan 12, 2021 Corporate partner
St. Louis Blues Stifel Premium presenting Jan 7, 2021 Enterprise Jan 7, 2021 Venue naming+
Vegas Golden Knights Credit One Bank Founding partner Jan 13, 2021 Allegiant Jan 13, 2021 Founding partner
DISCOVER CENTRAL DIVISION
Carolina Hurricanes PNC Bank Venue naming Jan 8, 2021
Chicago Blackhawks United Venue naming Jan 13, 2021
Columbus Blue Jackets OhioHealth Presenting sponsor Jan 4, 2021 Nationwide Jan 4, 2021 Venue naming
Dallas Stars AT&T Corporate partner Jan 5, 2021
Detroit Red Wings United Wholesale Mortgage NEW Jan 4, 2021
Florida Panthers Ford Corporate partner Dec 23, 2021
Nashville Predators Bridgestone Venue naming Dec 22, 2020
Tampa Bay Lightning DEX Imaging Champ’ship sponsor Jan 12,2021 Tampa General Hospital Jan 12,2021 Corporate partner
MASSMUTUAL EAST DIVISION
Boston Bruins TD Bank Venue naming Jan 6, 2021
Buffalo Sabres KeyBank Venue naming Jan 9, 2021 Roswell Park Jan 9, 2021 Official Cancer Center
New Jersey Devils Prudential Venue naming Dec 22, 2020
New York Islanders Northwell Health Naming-practice Jan 14, 2021 UBS Jan 14, 2021 Naming-new venue
New York Rangers Chase Bank Corporate partner Jan 16, 2021
Philadelphia Flyers Tata Consultancy Services Corporate partner Jan 13, 2021
Pittsburgh Penguins PPG Paints Venue naming Jan 4, 2021
Washington Capitals Capital One Venue naming Dec 22, 2020

Team notes:
Florida – have Ford on home and away helmets, but Baptist Health South Florida on practice helmets
N.Y. Rangers – Northwell Health sponsored training camp which included helmet logo during camp
St. Louis – Locally-based Enterprise is also an Official NHL Partner

For more info, head to the NHL profile in the SportsSponsor FactBook. To view any team, head to the SportsSponsor FactBook home page, click on the magnifying glass to the right of the “State” drop-down above the first profile shown and simply enter the team name in the search box.