Hockey world unimpressed with new sponsor on Canadiens jersey

·4 min read
The Montreal Canadiens revealed their newest captain on Monday, but the organization caught some flak for a less-welcome addition to the team's sacred jersey. (Montreal Canadiens)
The Montreal Canadiens revealed their newest captain on Monday, but the organization caught some flak for a less-welcome addition to the team's sacred jersey. (Montreal Canadiens)

When the Montreal Canadiens revealed that Nick Suzuki will be their 31st captain in franchise history on Monday morning, they couldn’t possibly have imagined that the addition of a patch on the other shoulder would be the story making headlines.

Hockey fans from across social media expressed disappointment and even outrage after the Montreal Canadiens announced a multi-year partnership with RBC that will see the company’s logo included on Canadiens jerseys for the foreseeable future.

The release, which did not specify the terms or length of the agreement between the parties, also noted that fans would have the option to include the patch when purchasing jerseys, as the NHL begins to roll out its new Jersey Advertising Program across the league.

As for how Twitter reacted, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the announcement was met with significant resistance and criticism from Canadiens' and NHL fans alike.

Other Canadiens fans expressed a deep disappointment that it dramatically overshadowed the other major news of the day surrounding Nick Suzuki.

Some fans expected the storied franchise to reject having a sponsor on the classic bleu-blanc-rouge sweater altogether, like the Edmonton Oilers chose to do, as reported by TSN's Tom Gazzola last Tuesday. According to Gazzola, the Oilers will not be sporting a sponsor on their helmets when playing at home, opting only to have an ad on their away helmets.

Images of sponsors on team jerseys began to circulate during the annual NHLPA Rookie Showcase last week in Arlington, Virginia.

While unpopular on the whole, the addition of jersey advertisements serve to be an extremely lucrative venture for the National Hockey League. Some experts have estimated the program could draw in over $100 million in new revenue for the league, and could help offset some of the financial difficulties that have led to a flat salary cap in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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