For those of you bothered by the steady encroachment of corporate sponsorship into the sports world, get ready to be extremely bothered.
For the first time in its history, the National Hockey League has sold the naming rights to each of its four divisions for 2021.
For this season, the four divisions will be known as:
- Scotia NHL North Division
- Honda NHL West Division
- Discover NHL Central Division
- MassMutual NHL East Division
“These strategic moves are to increase advertising marketing and profit for each team and the league as a whole,” according to Muse.tv. “Thirteen teams have already announced sponsor rights through Tuesday. Although, the majority are directly connected to the names of the arenas of which the respective teams play for.”
The divisions have been realigned this year due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions. For example, all the Canadian teams will be placed in the Scotia North Division.
The NHL has been particularly aggressive and innovative on the sponsorship front. In late December, it was announced that the league would allow teams to place corporate logos on their helmets.