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.)
We're proud to be the first @NHL club to have brand placement on our helmets.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) December 22, 2020
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.
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.
Like & retweet for your chance to win McDavid's bucket & jersey both signed by Captain Connor himself! pic.twitter.com/ugs2v3J2VS
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) January 8, 2021
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||–||–||–|
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.