NHL Sells Naming Rights to 4 Divisions; Expected to Be 1-Year Campaign

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2020, file photo, fans pose below the NHL league logo at a display outside Falcon Stadium before an NHL Stadium Series outdoor hockey game between the Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche, at Air Force Academy, Colo. The uncertainty raised by coronavirus pandemic leads to experts providing a bleak short-term assessment on the NHL's financial bottom line, with some projecting revenues being cut by almost half. What's unclear is how large the impact might be until it can be determined when fans can resume attending games and if the league is able to complete this season. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The NHL is taking sports advertising to a new level for its upcoming season, as it has sold naming rights to its four divisions.

The league announced its sponsored divisions for the 2021 campaign Tuesday:

Per ESPN's Greg Wyshynski, the league is viewing the division naming rights "as a one-year-only campaign."

The agreements allow the NHL to recoup some of the financial losses it has incurred from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Per Mike Ozanian and Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes, the league's 2019-20 revenue dropped 14 percent from the previous season to $4.4 billion and operating income plummeted 68 percent to $250 million.

As part of the agreement between the NHL and NHL Players' Association for a 56-game schedule this season, the league altered its traditional division structure from Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central and Pacific to a simpler North, Central, East and West.

Canadian clubs comprise the North Division. Teams will only play games within their divisions, with a 16-team playoff format scheduled to begin in May.

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