April 13th, 2011
Florida Panthers Not Opposed to Ads on Jerseys
The Florida Panthers, having recently inked a deal giving Lexus the naming rights to the ice at the BankAtlantic Center, have their eyes on the next frontier of corporate sponsorship in American sports: their own uniforms.
When asked whether he would consider selling ad space on his team’s jerseys, Panthers President and COO Michael Yormark told Yahoo! Sports last week, “Yes, I would.”
But lest we worry that the Panthers’ uniforms will look like NASCAR-on-ice, Yormark warned, “obviously there needs to be a lot of thought that goes into [jersey ads], in terms of how you want to market the jersey as it relates to sponsorship. I don’t think that we want to get close to what NASCAR has done.”
“I don’t think that works in the National Hockey League,” he continued, “but I do think there’s an opportunity for some branding on the jerseys.”
While it may seem sacrilegious to place ads on uniforms, the idea is not so alien outside of the US. Indeed, the ads on European soccer jerseys have become such a part of the game that they even appear on replica jerseys sold to fans worldwide.
Besides, the prospect of ad sales on sports uniforms could create interesting opportunities for franchises to make a statement. The Panthers, playing a winter sport in a beach town, could go the ironic route and sign an ad deal with Rheem Furnaces or Polaris, a maker of snowmobiles.
The Panthers aren’t the only local team primed for a unique advertising relationship. The spendthrift Florida Marlins could place an eBay logo on their jerseys, while the Dolphins seem like a good fit for a UPS Ground ad, since they can’t seem to do anything through the air.