Maple Leafs reveal jersey ads for first time ever ahead of new season
Posted September 20, 2022 12:07 pm.
Last Updated September 20, 2022 7:29 pm.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have revealed a new sponsored sweater patch that will be displayed on the team’s jerseys for the upcoming season.
The team announced a multi-year agreement with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO), and will display a ‘Milk’ patch on its home, away, and alternate jerseys during each game of the 2022-2023 season.
It will mark the first time ever the club has displayed advertisements on player’s sweaters. The team recently added a sponsor patch to player’s helmets, announcing a partnership with TikTok ahead of the start of last year.
The ‘Milk’ patches will appear on the upper-right chest of the sweater. Based on photos of the new jerseys, the patch will appear in white lettering on the Leafs’ home blue sweaters, and in blue lettering on the road whites.
Most of the NHL is expected to follow suit for this season, and some teams already had sponsored patches on their sweaters before the end of last year.
Jersey advertisements have been commonplace in international soccer for many years and have recently started to gain traction in North American professional sports. Every NBA team had a sponsored patch on their uniforms during the 2021-2022 season.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman publicly expressed his opposition to the idea as recently as 2016, saying that the league would need to be dragged “kicking and screaming” before it embraced ads on sweaters.
The comments came before the league dealt with back-to-back years of stunted revenue brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Washington Capitals became the first NHL team to embrace the jersey patches last year. The team’s deal with Capital One was reportedly worth $10 million annually.
The Leafs say the new partnership will include DFO providing 5,000 tickets to the game to community youth groups, “providing more access to hockey for young fans who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend a Maple Leafs game.”
The new sponsored jersey will make its debut when the team opens its pre-season schedule with a doubleheader against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Arena on Sep. 24.
The Leafs open the regular season on Oct. 12 in Montreal.