Let’s be real here, now that NHL has sold division naming rights, there’s no going back

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Illustration for article titled Let’s be real here, now that NHL has sold division naming rights, there’s no going back

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In a shrewd display of the importance of the almighty dollar, the NHL has sold the naming rights for one year of its four divisions.

The NHL has shown that they’ll do anything for a buck. It’s so commercialized, it’s almost enough to give you heartburn. Speaking of heartburn, try Pepto Bismol Liquicaps for fast relief and ultra-coating. Get powerful relief, with Pepto.

I mean, how far are they willing to go to sell out? It seems like there is no end to what the league would be willing to do. They’ve already begun renting ad space on helmets. Apparently, the constant bombardment of ads in the stadium, on the arena itself, and at home during the televised games isn’t enough. I’d love to see some semblance of integrity and preserving what is traditional and sacred, much like the way KFC has stayed true to its original recipe with eleven herbs and spices for flavor.

While they’re saying it’s a one-year experiment, I can’t see them reversing it after getting the paycheck. There seems to be a common thread in the Twitter responses saying “Oh, it’s understandable. This has been such a hard year because of the pandemic, and the league is doing what they need to do to recoup the money they lost.”

Bullshit.

According to an article in Forbes, the average team value fell only 2 percent, and while the operating income was down a hefty 68 percent, perhaps the billionaire owners could subsidize their own teams, instead of continuously cheapening the fan experience with an inundation of ads.

Once the outrage subsides, this, too, will be normalized. The league will continue to gladly take the extra ad money, with zero chance in hell they’ll go back to normal next year. The idea of selling rights to anything and everything is nothing new to American sports; it’s been an ongoing conversation over the last few years, with teams from multiple leagues angling to go the way of European sports, like the Premier League. I’m pretty sure these owners would sell the rights to their own team name if the leagues would let them. Once a league has found a way to pad their bottom line, any and all cash-grabs will simply be viewed as “innovation.”

This “innovation” will be here to stay.



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