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NHL Announces Sponsors for Realigned 2020-21 Divisions


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Yeah, this has literally zero impact on the viewing experience, and it's reportedly only for a year given the extreme shift in realignment. Even if it's here to stay, though, it'll be quickly forgotten about. Fans, as expected, will simply refer to their divisions by region, and broadcasters will include the title sponsor, as they're paid to do.
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There were rumours over the past couple of weeks the league was considering this path, but I didn’t believe them. Like it or not, we better get used to this sort of thing. The conservative days are done, and the doors are wide open. The only question: Is this a short-term thing to save revenues and jobs, or a permanent, new reality?


There’s certainly a feeling across the sport — league employees, teams, players, agents — that the shackles have to come off because circumstances demand it. You’ve seen the helmet ads; we’ll see how the on-ice, on-bench, and along-the-glass ads look. Small jersey ads can’t be far away. The outdoor games in Lake Tahoe are an excellent idea, but a break-even preposition in 2021. What we will see is if someone loves the idea enough to turn it into a revenue generator in the future.


A few executives and agents believe the Canadian Division should be given permanent consideration — that guaranteeing four of those teams a playoff spot and one a Final Four spot would drive up revenues and raise the cap. As a Sportsnet employee, sign me up. But I admit that, personally, I’m not crazy about anyone being guaranteed anything. However, as producer Matt Marstrom pointed out after Jeff Marek and I discussed it on this week’s podcast, Seattle’s arrival makes it more challenging from a numbers perspective.



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