Jersey advertising coming to the NHL?

Jason Gregor
July 30 2009 12:01PM

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The NHL is always looking at ways to generate more money, and don’t be surprised if you see you see a NHL jerseys sporting a “Wanye’s Rehab Clinic” logo in the near future.

USA Today had an interesting article describing that ads on practice and game jerseys will be reality very soon.

Read on about what it said regarding the NHL (I cut out the parts that mention the WNBA because, really, who cares):

The hunger for new revenue during the economic downturn has the NBA and NHL entertaining the once-taboo prospect of corporate sponsorships for game uniforms. Beginning this season the NBA will let teams sell ads on their practice jerseys, says deputy commissioner Adam Silver, who adds the league is continuing to explore the issue of ads on game jerseys. "We are operating a diverse business all around the world," Silver says. "(The sponsored game jersey) is a well-established practice in other countries. Ultimately, I think our fans will come to accept it." NHL chief operating officer John Collins says the league might put ads on game jerseys for the right price. The NFL's Tennessee Titans have had a small patch for a local hospital on their practice jerseys since relocating from Houston more than a decade ago, and the league put rules in place last spring to permit the activity league-wide. Five teams — the New York Jets, New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears — have taken advantage, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says. The Jets will get more than $2 million a year from a deal with Atlantic Health that includes practice uniform patches and its name on the team's training facility, says Matthew Higgins, the team's executive vice president of business operations. McCarthy says the NFL initiative excludes certain products, including those of alcohol, tobacco and casino companies. The NHL — which pushed the envelope 30 years ago by allowing teams to sell advertising on the boards — is going high-tech to attract corporate dollars by offering marketers the chance to insert so-called "virtual" ads inside national game telecasts on NBC and Versus. These computer-generated signs, typically superimposed on the crowd, are only visible to TV viewers and not to fans at the game. "As with anything new, you weigh tradition with the commercialization of sports," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly says. "Obviously, sports are becoming more commercialized each and every year. We have that debate internally all the time. Where do you draw the line? How much is too much? You have to protect the look and feel of the game. You look at professional hockey played in Europe and there's advertising on jerseys and on the ice. You can have so much advertising on the ice that it can be distracting to players. There's a balance there."

All of you are die-hard hockey fans: if you aren’t at the game you’ll do almost anything to ensure you're watching at home. Do the virtual ads bother you? And I’m curious if fans would really care if there were logos on NHL jerseys.

I’m a traditionalist in many facets of the game, including how it is presented. The glowing puck pissed me off to no end. How could Americans say they couldn’t see a black puck on a white ice, yet they could follow a 100 MPH fastball without a complaint?

I’d rather see them add logos to the jersey than change the size of the net, or ban fighting, or get rid of unlimited overtime in the playoffs. Those are traditions that matter to me. The introduction of third Jerseys or retro Jerseys has softened my stance on what the players wear. I would hope the sponsor logo isn’t embedded in the Oiler logo, but if it is on the shoulder patch, I could care less. Although I think a warm up jersey is a better start, rather than the actual game jersey.

When my brother played for the Birmingham Bulls, they had warm up jerseys that were black on the left half and red on the right, and they had a Chevron logo on the front shoulder and on the back below the number. It is one of the coolest looking jerseys I’ve ever seen, but they didn’t wear it in games, only in warm up.

Leagues want to make money, but will logos deface the jersey? Just because it happens in Europe doesn’t mean it has to happen here. While players come and go, fans remain loyal to the jersey. Do you want that jersey plastered with “Wanye’s Rehab Clinic” or “Brownlee’s cure for smoking” logos?

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Roz
July 30 2009, 03:54PM
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I'm involved with local club hockey and we do advertising all over the place. Its a great and easy way to make some extra money.

Speaking of which.... Anyone looking to advertise?

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#52 Godzilla
July 30 2009, 04:02PM
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I don't care if they put adds on the boards, the practice jerseys or even the helmets, put please not the regular jerseys. Although it's not sacred, it's still a uniform. What would we say if police officers wore adds on their uniforms? Or doctors. Or supreme court judges with their santa claus outfits?

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#53 J.L.
July 30 2009, 04:07PM
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Virtual adds are one of my biggest pet peeves while watching NFL games. What's amazing is the number of people who think they're watching feed of a real advertisement at the football game. Same goes for the virtual blimps. They're not real, people!

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#54 Deans
July 30 2009, 04:10PM
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I'm completly against this sh*t. How much more advertising do we need in the NHL? At Rexall you cant take two steps w/out seing advertisments. On TV its just as bad This is getting retarded. I swear, if they put ANY advertising on these jerseys I will never buy another jersey. Never. At what point do we say enough is enough? I can't wait untill they raise beers to 15 bucks. If these trends continue I seriously question how long my fandom will last. I love sports but I hate hate HATE corporate greed run amok. Hopefully this is just a story and not an actual possibility.

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#55 Prop Jay
July 30 2009, 04:11PM
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as long as the Jerseys purchased by the fans don't have logo, i don't care

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#56 Deans
July 30 2009, 04:14PM
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@ Prop Jay: If the adds go on the jerseys I guarntee that the jerseys the fans buy will have the same adds. Look at soccer, no corpotation could resist having millions of fans wearing their corporate logo

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#57 Cam
July 30 2009, 04:21PM
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I think the more quantity of advertising you have, the more it devalues each individual ad. The value of advertising goes down if you are one of a thousand as opposed to one of ten.

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#58 J.L.
July 30 2009, 04:26PM
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If you're in favour of one small, tasteful logo on a jersey, be prepared to see it get out of control.

30 years ago, someone said, 'maybe if we just put one or two adds on the boards, it wouldn't be so distracting.'

You give them an inch.

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#59 SierraRacs
July 30 2009, 04:31PM
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Godzilla wrote:

Although it’s not sacred, it’s still a uniform. What would we say if police officers wore adds on their uniforms? Or doctors.

Well, the police don't go and sell their uniforms to the general public (for obvious reasons). The other professions you mentioned require some form of training and accreditation before practising their trade. We don't go to see police officers uphold our civil liberties in an arena. Comparing police officers and their uniforms to hockey uniforms is misleading. If hockey uniforms were treated like other uniforms there would rarely, if ever, be any changes to them.

We've already seen every hockey jersey become redesigned in the last two years and this is not including retro/third jerseys. Some hockey teams were changing their logo/jerseys every couple of years (e.g. NYI, Buffalo, Phoenix). That's called marketing, adding a sponsor's logo may only be a natural progression.

Police forces may redesign their uniforms in a particular way to enhance the safety of their officers, such as making their accessories more accessible during an arrest, not for marketing.

A hockey team is a form of entertainment for the masses and make money for it's owner(s). A team's jersey is in and of itself a form of marketing for that particular team.

Please be careful when making comparisons between one profession's uniforms and another. They are not equal and are not comparable.

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#60 Deans
July 30 2009, 04:44PM
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I wouldn't be shocked to see adds on police uniforms. "These batton beating was brought to you by the good people at Hello Kitty. Don't forget to check out the new merch on our website!" Nothing is sacred when it comes to advertising, nothing. It's a slow incremintal progression but eventually almost every aspect of society will incorporate advertising. Soon enough years will be renamed with corporate labels. 2015 will be known as *The Year Of The Adult Depend Diaper* Credit to DFW for that one.

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#61 Death Metal Nightmare
July 30 2009, 04:45PM
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id seriously hate the NHL if they do this and might stop watching. ads on the boards and ice are lame enough but tolerable and are masked from the game. but making the actual "players" an ad outside of their equipments manufacture is f***ing bull***t.

capitalist advertising is such a joke. they actually think these stupid ads matter. "wow, theres a subway sign on the boards. id like some subway." no, youre presented with options and you go where you want. the ads dont dictate your decisions, especially when your decisions are LIMITED to a narrow scope of "choices".

if anything, ads only help smaller alternatives like mom and pop deli's, etc, etc... instead of people constantly seeing the corporate hegemony of logos and commercials. people are desensitized to it and dont care. which means the ads on the jerseys mean nothing other than them being there and the money the NHL collects. so go ahead, but its complete crap.

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#62 Deans
July 30 2009, 04:49PM
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@ Death Metal Nightmare: Good point. Whenever I see the Tim Hortons TV spot for the 15th time a night, I just block it out. It actually makes me angry and less likely to buy a Timmys coffee. The llne ups dont help either.

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#63 Helicopterguy
July 30 2009, 05:04PM
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"they had warm up jerseys that were black on the left half and red on the right, and they had a Chevron logo on the front shoulder and on the back below the number. It is one of the coolest looking jerseys I’ve ever seen..."

I hate to say that jersey doesn't sound very cool looking at all. I'll need to find a picture.

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#64 Jonathan Willis
July 30 2009, 05:09PM
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DanMan wrote:

I think the best way to get more Americans interested in the game is to have more Sean Averys and JR’s. In the mid-90’s when the NHL became #3, albeit briefly, in the states, we had Gretzky, Messier, Hull, Coffey, Lemieux, Ed Belfour was #$^%ing crazy, and others. Personalities are important. Bad guys are needed. Claude Lemieux, Ulf Samuelsson, Marchment. There aren’t many nowadays. I hate Phaneuf, but does that spread leaguewide?

Fun question: outside of the league head office, who really cares about growing the game in the States?

The game is fine; they'll like it or they won't and I don't much care which.

The league certainly doesn't need (and shouldn't) stoop to trying WWE-style marketing of their players.

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#65 #13 The Rat
July 30 2009, 05:15PM
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If anyone has ever seen the movie "Idiocracy" you get a great idea as to what uncontrolled sponsorship on clothing, etc. leads to.

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#66 The Menace
July 30 2009, 05:18PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Fun question: outside of the league head office, who really cares about growing the game in the States?

I would actually be in favor of shrinking the game in the States. By at least 3 teams.

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#67 Victoria
July 30 2009, 05:44PM
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Deans wrote:

@ Death Metal Nightmare: Good point. Whenever I see the Tim Hortons TV spot for the 15th time a night, I just block it out. It actually makes me angry and less likely to buy a Timmys coffee. The llne ups dont help either.

The crap coffee doesn't, either.

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#68 Word
July 30 2009, 06:24PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Fun question: outside of the league head office, who really cares about growing the game in the States? The game is fine; they’ll like it or they won’t and I don’t much care which. The league certainly doesn’t need (and shouldn’t) stoop to trying WWE-style marketing of their players.

If the game grows in the U.S., then the league earns more money. If the league earns more money, the sport becomes higher profile to athletes. There inevitably follows the inspiration for more (American) kids to want a pair of skates for Christmas just as badly as they want a baseball glove.

The game will only benefit by drawing from a larger talent pool. It certainly didn't hurt when there started to be more and more European superstars as the game's profile grew across the ocean.

Having said that, I completely agree with The Menace: The Menace wrote:

I would actually be in favor of shrinking the game in the States. By at least 3 teams.

It would be like cutting the 90 worst guys in the league. Taker that Drake Berehowsky!

Hell, I'd also like to have a few less games each season 'cause I think it would up the physicality. You can't blame the guys for not playing crash and bang playoff hockey for 82 regular season games, but I do wonder if they could pull it off for 65.

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#69 Archaeologuy
July 30 2009, 06:59PM
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The Sweater is sacred. Dont f*ck with it. Adding 3rd jerseys are fine, changing the jersey every other year is pathetic, putting advertising anywhere on the jersey is an assault on all that is good and holy.

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#70 Hemmertime
July 30 2009, 07:01PM
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Prop Jay wrote:

as long as the Jerseys purchased by the fans don’t have logo, i don’t care

I am the opposite, if they throw an ad on the Official Jersey I would buy a jersey off the shelf that includes that ad before one that does not

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#71 Dallas
July 30 2009, 07:04PM
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Ads stats what's next on this site come on guys. I realize there is no important signings to talk about but I have actually resorted to trolling on flameout sites on hockey buzz they are talking about how every player is going to have to keep there heads up in there defensive zone. Yah right like boewmeester is going to lay out crushing blows lmao they say our team has gotten worse. I don't think so there forward corps got worse I we remained so far status quo which isn't so bad I believe if everybody improves a bit and a heathy vis for the year we will have a good battle with those big heads

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#72 Dallas
July 30 2009, 07:50PM
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Can you believe zubov was drafted 85th overall in 1990 guy should have been a 1st rd pick how many players were drafted before him that never even played a game

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#73 ScubaSteve
July 30 2009, 07:53PM
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It's not the worst idea to put ads on a jersey, as long as there is a clear line as to the size and number of ads. I would hate to see the NHL look like a Nascar event.

That being said, I sure hope the money doesn't go to propping up a team that bleeds money (PHO) which the commish won't move b/c of some egotistical agenda.

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#74 David S
July 30 2009, 08:15PM
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Dallas wrote:

Ads stats what’s next on this site come on guys. I realize there is no important signings to talk about but I have actually resorted to trolling on flameout sites on hockey buzz they are talking about how every player is going to have to keep there heads up in there defensive zone. Yah right like boewmeester is going to lay out crushing blows lmao they say our team has gotten worse. I don’t think so there forward corps got worse I we remained so far status quo which isn’t so bad I believe if everybody improves a bit and a heathy vis for the year we will have a good battle with those big heads

Can anybody tell me what language this is so I can run it through Google translator?

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#75 Dallas
July 30 2009, 08:22PM
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I re read my post and had no trouble reading it there David s maybe if you had made it past grade 3 you could read simple English

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#76 Deans
July 30 2009, 08:41PM
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@ David S:

You make some good points but that is not simple english.

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#77 Harlie
July 30 2009, 08:55PM
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I can't believe the NHL hasn't done it already. I remember watching the Canada Cup games and seeing advertising on the boards and thinking that I would never see it in the NHL. Well, you guessed it..

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#78 Harlie
July 30 2009, 08:57PM
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David S wrote:

Dallas wrote: I we remained so far status quo which isn’t so bad Can anybody tell me what language this is so I can run it through Google translator?

you'd have better luck running it through a Bong.

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#79 David S
July 30 2009, 09:23PM
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Dallas wrote:

I re read my post and had no trouble reading it there David s maybe if you had made it past grade 3 you could read simple English

hxxp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf5sbeEQQec

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#80 Dallas
July 30 2009, 09:27PM
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Yes I we remained was my bad but I'm sure you knew what I meant and I have seen a heck of a lot worse writing on here

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#81 Dallas
July 30 2009, 09:36PM
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Should have said yet we have remained status quo so far. Is that better for you Mr.David.S and I am sorry if I ramble on with very little comma's and periods I am using an iPhone which is not as convienant as a keyboard

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#82 ronaldo
July 30 2009, 09:38PM
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@ Dallas: Hey!!!!! Wayne tries his best. (joking...respect...don't boot me)

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#83 Deans
July 30 2009, 09:49PM
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@ Dallas: no worries dude, i used to have an iphone and that thing was pure hell when it came to articulating the english language

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#84 Hemmertime
July 30 2009, 09:51PM
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I can haz cheezeburger?

The internet is full of people who need to be shot in the face.

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#85 Dallas
July 30 2009, 09:56PM
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Lol peoples

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#86 Heazues
July 30 2009, 10:16PM
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i hate the idea. to me, the jersey is just as sacred as unending overtimes in the playoffs. i dont mind so much if the team supports a cause, buy wearing a token. like the pink ribbon. its a temporary cause, and its not like the jersey I buy will have a pink ribbon.

but ill be damned if i buy a jersey with a "Fizzy Pop" patch.

i dont mind retro/3rd jersies, and if a team wants to change their logo every few years, so be it. but please dont deface the jersies with something that doesnt have anything at all to do with hockey.

and that blue puck pissed me off too. :)

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#87 Heazues
July 30 2009, 10:18PM
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oops, shoulda re read that. i meant *its a temporary token, and a worthy cause.*

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#88 BigE57
July 30 2009, 10:51PM
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Deans wrote:

I can’t wait untill they raise beers to 15 bucks.

Go to a game at the ACC in Toronto beer price ranges from 8 buck for a small to 14 and change for a large which is marginally bigger than the ones you get at Rexall.

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#89 Shifty
July 30 2009, 10:57PM
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DanMan wrote:

I hate Phaneuf, but does that spread leaguewide?

No, But his girlfriends legs do!

Bahhhhzing!!!!

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#90 jeanshorts
July 30 2009, 11:34PM
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@ Shifty:

SUSPENDED!

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#91 416oil
July 31 2009, 12:02AM
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doesn't like every minor hockey team in the world have a sponsor on the back? if your 8 year old son can be sponsored by a company why cant the professionals?

also the friggin CFL has sponsors on their jerseys, it hasn't ruined any of their jerseys

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#92 Dallas
July 31 2009, 12:02AM
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Lmao I hate phaneuf too he is one ugly mofo and seriously does he know how to smile. Even at the allstar game Iggy was laughin and joking around with him and the loser never cracked a smile

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#93 Ridley
July 31 2009, 01:19AM
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Ok, people really should stop whining about the evolution of advertising in sports. Yes it's some sort of tradition, but it is also a business! Look at ads on boards, now you barely notice them because they are everywhere. People moaned about corporate name on arenas, well now every single one (cept maybe Joe Louis arena I think?) has one. Hockey is still the same.

Ads on soccer teams haven't devalued that sport not one iota. Why do you think it will devalue the NHL? And it's not going to be a monstrosity like Nascar, execs still want people buying their jerseys outside the fan base, they will try to make it as nice as possible.

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#94 James
July 31 2009, 01:27AM
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nefl is way better than nhl adiversiting the palyers are better and peyton manning iis the funniest ever.nhl is stupid for the players no adv for funny and i t needs to have walmrat on it

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#95 Garett
July 31 2009, 06:22AM
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Off topic here, but when this collective bargaining agreement is over, do any of you feel the structure will be vastly different in able to better prevent the issue with some of the players bolting to the KHL? Is there anything that can be done without getting rid of the salary cap? Getting more money, non-taxed money regardless of the quality of hockey or facilities seems to be attracting players, even if just for a couple years to line their pockets. Do any of you think that if we got rid of the struggling teams and moved them to cities that would spend to the cap, that we would be able to keep more of these players here? How many teams do not spend near the cap? If they did, how many more million dollars would be available to keep some of these players from bolting?

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#96 Shifty203
July 31 2009, 08:21AM
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jeanshorts wrote:

@ Shifty: SUSPENDED!

It was worth it. That was too nice of a setup.

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#97 David S
July 31 2009, 08:26AM
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James wrote:

nefl is way better than nhl adiversiting the palyers are better and peyton manning iis the funniest ever.nhl is stupid for the players no adv for funny and i t needs to have walmrat on it

Wow! Reason 1 to avoid TUI (Texting Under the Influence)

"nefl"...mua-hahahaha!

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#98 Chaz
July 31 2009, 09:13AM
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Word wrote:

Hell, I’d also like to have a few less games each season ’cause I think it would up the physicality. You can’t blame the guys for not playing crash and bang playoff hockey for 82 regular season games, but I do wonder if they could pull it off for 65.

Amen to that Word. I've been preaching this idea to anyone who will listen for years. It would mean playoff style hockey for more of the year and would grow the sport IMO. It'll never happen though as it would mean a short-term loss of revenue for the owners, and they are too short-sighted to ever implement something like this.

It would also make games all year more meaningfull, and might actually justify paying $120 for a ticket in Oct / Nov.

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#99 RobFormerlyInALab
July 31 2009, 09:19AM
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I can see it now. The Stars lead the league in head injuries after Target throws their logo on the back of the team's helmets.

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#100 Dustin
July 31 2009, 10:10AM
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The Menace wrote:

dyckster wrote: Yup, I can here it now as the team hits the ice at the beginning of each period, “Here come your Pain in the ass flames with the leaky defense!” Wow, I’ll never be in Marketing…. How about, “and the Tampax Calgary Flames begin this period with a roar from the sea of red”?

How about this one.... Why are the Calgary Flames called the Tampax Calgary Flames???? Because they are only good for one period and have no second string. :D

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