By Zachary Baru
When the start of the 2018-19 National Hockey League season came around, I was very skeptical. I was worried that watching Bruins games with four extra "in-ice advertisements" would begin to resemble a lower-level minor league game, but I quickly realized how wrong I was.
The NHL, unsurprisingly, did an excellent job working these ads into the ice (I'm still not sure why they're not called "on-ice ads", but that's another story. The four additional ads have been worked in well to the TD Garden ice, and to all ice surfaces throughout the league.
In April 2018, the NHL announced that starting with the current 2018-19 season, all teams will be allowed to have four new positions for in-ice advertising. These positions have been located in the corners of the rink. Up to last season, all teams could and did sell up to four in-ice ads near neutral zone face-off dots.
The original four ads were allowed to up to 81 square feet per advertisement, while four new ads are allowed to be up to 44 square feet each.
Watching the Bruins games all season long, the new ads have blended in, and are starting to feel normal. They don't jump out at the viewer, and being in the corners, its easier to forget they are even there. Had the ads been placed in the offensive zones, like seen in some lower-level leagues, this would be a different story. Fortunately for hockey fans, the new advertisements don't ruin the visual aspect of the game, and are allowing the league and all 31 franchises to make additional revenue.
Source: SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily
Zach Baru can be followed on Twiter @zbaru and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.