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NHL allowing helmet ads

Michael Holley and Michael Smith take JuJu Smith-Schuster to task for his pregame dance routines while the Steelers continue to struggle.

The slow but inevitable infiltration of corporate sponsorship onto athletic uniforms continues. (This article is brought to you by Snapple.)

Via Mark J. Burns of Sports Business Daily, the Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils, and Nashville Predators have announced helmet sponsorships for the upcoming season. The teams will display on their helmets the brands of Capital One, Prudential Financial, and Bridgestone, respectively.

Hockey helmets typically are solid in color, without team logos on the side, like football helmets. The placement of the corporate ads becomes conspicuous and, frankly, a little jarring.

It continues a trend that has included the NBA selling jersey space and the NFL permitting ads on practice jerseys.

The NFL already has an organic ad on its game uniforms -- the swoosh of Nike, the apparel supplier. As the pressure mounts to rebuild revenue post-pandemic, the NFL could (not will, could) explore the possibility of game-jersey ads of the placement of logos on the back of helmets.

The NFL could allow teams to sell their own ads. Also, the league could put a green-screen circle on the back of all helmets and allow the networks to superimpose ads during game broadcasts, increasing the rights fees and then allowing the various TV partners to sell the ad space for whatever they can get.