SportsPro presents all the key commercial details for the planet’s preeminent ice hockey competition and its 32 franchises.
Despite the prolonged disruption wrought by the Covid pandemic, the National Hockey League (NHL) still enjoyed a prosperous 2021/22 season, which saw it surpass US$5 billion in annual revenue for the first time.
Some of that growth can no doubt be attributed to the first year of the league’s US media rights deals with ESPN and Turner Sports, which are now in the midst of seven-season deals worth a combined US$625 million annually. Those pacts, coupled with a deal in Canada with Rogers Communications that remains the biggest agreement of its kind in NHL history, give the league a solid financial foundation for at least a few more years yet.
The NHL has also created additional revenue opportunities for its franchises in recent years by allowing them to sell new sponsorship inventory. Brands have been able to advertise on team helmets since 2020, while clubs are also allowed to feature a sponsor logo on their jerseys. The going rate for those deals is reportedly between US$5 million and US$10 million a year.
Another significant change coming in 2024 will see the arrival of Fanatics as the NHL’s new on-ice uniform provider after a ten-year deal was struck in March.