Creating Revenue Streams Out Of Thin Ice: The NHL Sells Naming Rights To Their Newly Aligned Divisions

FILE - In this March 12, 2020, file photo, goals used by the NHL hockey club Nashville Predators are stored in a hallway in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The National Hockey League and players reached a tentative deal Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, to hold a 56-game season in 2021, pending the approval of each side's executive board and Canadian health officials. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

In times of crisis, it’s interesting to see who finds ways to create new revenue streams. The pandemic has clobbered sports leagues and teams, as they continue to play games in front of empty arenas and stadiums, with no real signal of when it will get even close to normal as we once knew it.

The National Hockey League announced Wednesday that they have sold the naming rights to their four realigned divisions. There were no financial terms of the sponsorship disclosed, but the companies that will see their names attached to the four divisions are Honda motors, Scotiabank, Discover credit card and MassMutual insurance.

Since their season was interrupted on March 11 of 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak, the NHL has lost about 14% of revenue, according to reports. That’s about $616 million, a substantial amount, and the league was forced to get creative to try to make up some of that gap.

The four company names will be added to the NHL’s new geographically arranged and named divisions. The Scotia North Division will have Canadian teams Edmonton, Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

The Honda West Division includes Arizona, Anaheim, Colorado, Los Angeles, Minnesota, San Jose, St. Louis and Las Vegas.

The Discover Central Division has Carolina Columbus, Dallas, Chicago, Detroit, Florida Nashville and reigning Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay.

The MassMutual East Division includes Boston, Buffalo, New Jersey, the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Philadelphia and Washington.

The NHL recently opened training camps, with a shortened 56-game season set to end on May 8 followed by the Stanley Cup playoffs, which will run into July.


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