Monday, 18 February 2008

Advertising on NHL Uniforms? Ugh...

by Jes

Normally, concepts and ideas from Europe (such as legalized prostitution, no-touch icing, not going ape-crap over half of an exposed nipple) show how behind-the-times and small-minded North Americans really are.

There are exceptions, however, to every rule, especially when it comes to hockey.

Anyone who has ever seen some semblance of European hockey knows that the entire experience is littered with advertising. It's not enough that the boards and ice surface likes look a NASCAR car, but the players' sweaters, themselves, make the players into skating billboards.

Instead of prominently feature a team logo, you get sweaters covered in enough advertising to make you sick. Hell, some Euroclubs are even named after a team sponsor (such as Chemopetrol Litvinov, HC MOUNTFIELD (Ceske Budejovice), and HC Energie Karlovy Vary.

Given how much advertising we're subjected to already, do NHL fans really want MORE of that crap?

The one 'sacred' aspect of the NHL, compared to Europe, is that the players' uniforms have remained relatively logo free. Sure, there has been logo creep on the sweaters, but we'll accept a logo on a piece of equipment that belongs to the maker of said product.

I always liked that I could look, or wear, an NHL uniform and have it all about the team colours, design, and logo. NHL uniforms are fairly clean and crisp, and are the one bit of freedom we have from the corporate messaging we are submitted to every minute of every game.

Unfortunately, greed tends to prevail in this society, and now we have NHL goaltenders clamouring to sell themselves as corporate shills.

A group of influential NHLers is asking the league and the players' union to consider placing corporate logos on jerseys as a way to generate new revenues, according to a Toronto Star report published yesterday.

The group which includes New Jersey's Martin Brodeur, Dallas's Marty Turco, Detroit's Dominik Hasek and Edmonton's Dwayne Roloson is proposing the creation of a Goaltender's Club.

The idea is to sell space for ads on the jerseys of the league's netminders.

Hockey marketer Brad Robins and Edmonton player agent Ritch Winter are working with the players and they estimate on-uniform ads could generate upwards of $30 million a season for the NHL.

"This is the wave of the future," Winter told the Star. "The NHL isn't as profitable as other leagues, and we have very little choice but to pursue new ways to create revenue so we can reinvest in our sport. It's just a way to pay the bills."
Do these idiots not make enough money as it is? Do they really have no shame in slapping on some generic corporate logos onto their clothing to make a few extra bucks?

Oh, cue the rich quote from Dwayne Roloson.

Roloson shrugs off the prospect of criticism from traditionalists.

"I think it's a great way to grow (hockey-related revenue)," he told the Star. "They have (uniform ads) in Europe and it doesn't take away from the true jersey look."
Doesn't take away from the true jersey look?? O.... K....

If this should ever pass, I suggest every NHL fan boo the living hell out of these empty souls and endeavour to put their fanship into goaltenders who don't submit themselves to the will of corporate assholes. It's pretty sad that these boys, who are already well-off, would feel the need to pimp themselves out as propaganda whores to the highest bidder.

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