Corner Ice: The Hottest New Sponsorship Real Estate in the National Hockey League
After experimenting during the 2018 All-Star Game and exhibition play in China, the National Hockey League (NHL) opened a new sponsorship space on the four corners of its ice rinks.
All 31 teams are making use of the advertising real estate in the 2018-2019 season, bringing in new revenue and providing valuable exposure to sponsor brands during game broadcasts.
An analysis of Nielsen Sport24 data for the month of October shows that the corner ice spaces received an average of 46 minutes of television exposure during game broadcasts. And the corner ice provided a cumulative $20.9 million in quality index (QI) Media Value through the first four weeks of the regular season.
Using these previously blank spaces on the corners of the ice is a win-win situation for sponsors and teams. The corner ice branding is the third most valuable in-venue signage now, behind the dasher boards and neutral zone ice branding. In fact, one brand that appears on the corner ice for two different NHL teams accumulated nearly $1 million of in-game television broadcast exposure just in the month of October.
The branding of the corner ice is limited to 44 square feet. The colors and clarity of the logos on the ice, as well as the camera angles, can affect the visibility and, therefore, value of the exposure.
The teams have control over the sponsorship rights to the corner ice spaces through the regular season. The NHL will have rights during special events like the Winter Classic, Global Series and the playoffs.