Commissioner Gary Bettman ‘in no rush’ to put ads on NHL jerseys

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

Gary Bettman is not a proponent of putting ads on NHL jerseys. (USATSI)
Gary Bettman is not a proponent of putting ads on NHL jerseys. (USATSI)

e report that the NHL may sell advertising on the jerseys for the World Cup of Hockey in 2016, the idea of ads of any kind on regular NHL jerseys someday is a hot topic. It was a topic that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman hit head on during a visit to Vancouver to take in the Canucks game Friday night.

During his news conference, Bettman was asked about the possibility of adding advertisements to NHL jerseys.

“My view is, I’m in no rush to put advertising on our sweaters,” Bettman said (via the Canucks). “I think we’ve got the best jerseys in all of sports. I like the history, the traditions, I like the way they look and I’ve repeatedly said we wouldn’t be the first. You’d probably have to bring me kicking and screaming.

“World Cup, international competition, I don’t know. We may take a look at it. It might be a valuable opportunity, but the World Cup jerseys don’t have the same legacy, as far as I’m concerned, that our regular jerseys have. It could happen for the World Cup, it might not. But it’s not anything we’re focused on doing for the league itself.”

I’m not sure hockey fans in Sweden would agree about their yellow Tre Kronor jerseys not having the same legacy as say, the San Jose Sharks, but you can understand the commissioner’s point on that one. Many of the league’s most prominent teams are long-established brands and the jerseys are a big part of their identity, if not the biggest.

The NHL is a league rooted in tradition with a large base of fans that could easily be described as traditionalists. Any kind of change usually brings push back and with the jerseys being such a huge part of the game’s history, particularly among older franchises, any alteration to that particular item could create some serious outrage.

Money talks, though. If it one day proves that the league’s franchises are leaving too much money on the table by not adding advertisements to jerseys, there may be more of an appetite to try them. That appetite would only increase if another North American professional sports league took the leap to ads on jerseys and had success generating revenue. It doesn’t sound like something that will be happening in the near future, though. So you can put those pitchforks and torches away for now, folks.

Peters,Chris. (2015, January 30). Commissioner Gary Bettman 'in no rush' to put ads on NHL jerseys. Retrieved from


 Counterfeit NHL jerseys: 6 ways to spot a fake

Locker Room in Halifax to stop selling some jerseys after counterfeit found

CBC News Posted: May 01, 2015 11:30 AM AT   Last Updated: May 01, 2015 11:30 AM AT

Which jersey tag is real? The one on the right is counterfeit.

 Which jersey tag is real? The one on the right is counterfeit. (CBC)

With the NHL playoffs in full swing, it’s not hard to spot fans donning their favourite team’s jerseys.

But can you spot a fake one?

A store in Halifax says it’s going to stop selling some jerseys after a CBC Nova Scotia investigation revealed they were selling counterfeit jerseys.

The store owner says he didn’t realize the items were fake.

Counterfeit jersey

A real NHL hologram tag, such as this one, will change between NHL and LNH depending on how you hold it in the light. (CBC)

“A lot of people don’t know,” said Lorne MacLellan, a licensed apparel buyer for Cleve’s Source for Sports in Burnside.

“In identifying counterfeits, the best defence for fans is a good offense,” said Tom Prochnow, the NHL’s vice president of legal and business affairs.

Here are ways to spot a fake:

1. Match the vendor

MacLellan advising checking to make sure the jersey has the right vendor’s name.

For NHL gear it’s Reebok; for the NFL, Nike is their vendor; NBA jerseys are made by Adidas.

“They should have those labels on to begin with,” he said.

2. Is there a hologram?

Every licensed NHL jersey is sold with a hologram on the hang tag, says Prochnow.

Make sure the tag switches from NHL to LNH — for La Ligue nationale de hockey — when rotated in the light.

3. Workmanship

The NHL says beware of ripped tags or irregular markings on apparel.

“You can see threads hanging or the crest isn’t on particularly straight, that kind of thing,” said MacLellan.

MacLellan says if you flip a real jersey inside out you’ll see the crest is sewn directly to the material using thousands of stitches. If the numbers and logos are nylon crests sewn on, then it’s a fake.

White or beige fabric on the back of a logo is a good sign it’s a fake, according to the Montreal Canadiens counterfeit site.

4. Fabric

MacLellan says there will be a difference in the texture of the material between a fake jersey and a real one.

With a counterfeit, the material is “usually a lot thinner,” he said.

Reebok tag

A tag on the counterfeit jersey reads, “Advanced athletic pereormance.” (CBC)

5. Be wary where you buy

The NHL recommends shopping at legitimate retailers instead of buying items from street vendors, flea markets, overseas websites or “other questionable sources.”

“It’s the same premise as everything else. If the deal is too good to be true, then you better watch out for it,” said MacLellan.

6. Run a spellcheck

On the fake jersey bought by CBC, there was a spelling error on the tag.

If you see text such as “Advanced athletic pereormance,” that’s a good indicator of a counterfeit.


Counterfeit NHL jerseys: 6 ways to spot a fake. (2015, May 1). Retrieved from


This article is a great piece of information if your looking for an authentic, premier, replica or practice jersey.  I don’t really see any way of stopping it.  The counterfeit business is way to big.  Some of the comments on this article do make sense.  A lot of the respondents said they would take a fake because the real ones are to expensive.  Another guy said he would wear the real ones if he got paid.  He compared it to a bill board.  Feel free to look at my NHL Hockey Jerseys page because I go over what the differences are in how they are made.


Blackhawks Apparel Sales on the Rise

June 22, 2015

Blackhawks now a ‘national team’ in apparel sales

Chicago-Blackhawks-Stanley-Cup-apparel-sales-go-nationwide.jpgFans clamor for Blackhawks merchandise before the team's Stanley Cup victory rally.

Call it a bigger bandwagon. Or opportunistic fans nationwide wanting to be part of the team of the decade. Or maybe more Chicago expats are sporting hometown hockey pride.

Regardless of the reason, the “cool factor” of the Chicago Blackhawks’ brand is translating into eye-popping apparel sales numbers after the team’s most recent Stanley Cup win.

Sales of official Stanley Cup Final gear more than doubled through the first week of sales this year, compared with the 2014 series between the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers, according to the National Hockey League.

Blackhawks championship gear also has outperformed 2013. The league reports that sales are up 20 percent over the team’s last Cup win—a rare increase for a fan base that snapped up so much championship gear less than 24 months ago.

“Typically, for a team that’s had multiple wins in a finite grouping of years, retailers will plan that business will be down a little because of that sales line flattening out, maybe some point of saturation,” said Jim Haskins, the NHL’s group vice president of consumer products licensing. This year’s increase “showcases this idea of being a national team.”


Haskins said the growth has not been purely from Chicagoans buying more gear, but also from new customers outside the region who may not even be hockey fans. Sales at the NHL’s official online store increased along with sales at Chicago retail centers. The web sales were up 53 percent compared with the week after the 2013 Stanley Cup win and 68 percent compared with the 2010 title.

“There really seem to be these outer layers that are kind of being hit now,” Haskins said.

Fan sales at big-box retailers also had a major boost compared with the last time the Hawks won, thanks in part to bigger orders to those stores. The NHL said sales at retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and Costco were up 53 percent compared with the 2013 Cup win.

“The atmosphere in the stores has been electric,” Stephen Binkley, Sports Authority executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “The response from fans to our official champions gear and merchandise has surpassed our expectations.”


Locally, even a wealth of data from two years ago that was relied on to predict customer demand was not enough to allow those printing the championship gear to keep pace with the appetite for it.

Ron Weiss, owner of Lincoln Square-based screen printer Shirts Our Business, said he acted as both manufacturer and retailer last week, with customers picking up shirts directly from his facility.

Normally, the handfuls of official licensees of NHL apparel use certified subcontractor apparel makers in town to print the clothing before distributing it to major retailers. But this year, “there weren’t enough presses in the Chicago area. Some of the product Reebok had was (made) in Milwaukee,” Weiss said.

Aside from all the strong sales numbers, the truest sign of the overwhelming scramble for Hawks gear may be the amount of counterfeit apparel on the market.

Federal agents said late last week that they had seized more than 4,350 counterfeit NHL jerseys, hats and other souvenirs worth an estimated $181,215 during the Stanley Cup Final series and the Blackhawks’ victory parade and rally.

Ecker, Danny. (2015, June 22). Blackhawks now a 'national team' in apparel sales. Retrieved from

Huge Gains the Past Few Years

Wow.  A ‘national team’ in the NHL apparel world.  That’s what people are saying about the Chicago Blackhawks.  It’s not really that difficult to figure out if you think about it.  3 Stanley Cups in 6 years is a pretty good start.  One of the best front offices in all of sports.

The Logo

The Indian head logo.  All those different colors and the precision it takes to make it look just right.  Revered as one of the best in the NHL and all of sports.  A marketing persons dream.  The logo, the history and the players that they have make it easy to see why this is happening.


Some of the best in sports.  They are loud at the United Center and travel like no other fan base.  We learned this when some teams tried to ban Chicago Blackhawks apparel for playoff games.  They are all over the world now and just like the fans in Chicago they also want to be able to show their support.  So you mix together the Cups, management, the Indian head, the players and the fans……that leads to some of the most desirable NHL fan apparel anywhere.

Who’s Buying All This Apparel

I posted a blog a few weeks back about who is actually buying all these authentic NHL jerseys, the hats, T-Shirts, ect.  Most people tend to think just men but that is so far from the truth now.  You see more and more women and kids wanting to show their support.  This is good for sales because the kids are the key to the generation after them.  They are the ones that will teach those kids how to be a great fan.  Fell free to look around more at HOCKEY FAN STORE and be sure to let us know what you think.