With the reports today of the NHL placing sponsors on their jerseys, starting in the 2022-23 season, we at The Leafs Nation thought — “Who do we want to see sponsor the Leafs jerseys in the future?”
So, we decided to put all of our ideas together and create one great big roundtable. Some are food, some are stores, and a few are brands. But without further ado, let’s discuss which companies should be the sponsor on the Toronto Maple Leafs jerseys.
I think one of the best things about having a jersey sponsor is being able to reach out to other niches. Hockey is a sport that’s built on a lot of the same things, and people don’t really go outside of the ‘bubble’. It’s more or less — boring.
Say you struck a deal with OVO (October’s Very Own), which is a company owned by Drake. On one side, it would bring more people to the team asking “what is this team that has an OVO logo on it?” Others, like myself, might be saying “Woah, an OVO logo on the jersey? Let me buy that!”
I believe with brands like that, and others like Drew (Justin Bieber’s clothing company), there’s a lot of collaboration which makes for going down different paths and growing the game of hockey. But if I had to pick one, it’s going to be OVO. That would be an amazing jersey and MLSE would have my money in seconds.
As someone who is prepared to throw an absolute tantrum over jersey ads and still hasn’t gotten over numbers on the front of helmets, I’m going to say that MLSE and by extension Rogers and Bell don’t need anymore money than they are already making. As such it would be nice to see them partner with a non profit or a social cause to have as a jersey patch throughout the year.
Back on planet Earth where I realize that isn’t going to happen and MLSE likes printing money, it seems like Bell and Rogers will bid against each for who gets the rights to be on their jersey.
My dark horse candidate, if the Leafs want to promote local is the Mandarin buffet. Nothing is more quintessentially Toronto than the Mandarin and it would be great to see their logo on the jersey.
From a rationalist’s standpoint, it’s probably going to be one of Scotiabank (who paid $800M to slap their name on the ACC), Rogers or Bell, with a dark horse candidate in Canadian Tire. The Leafs, like any other team, are in the business of making money, and it’s perhaps a bit of wishful thinking to see them advance a social cause by prominently displaying it on their jerseys. In that alternate universe where corporate greed does not rule, would be great to see Black Girl Hockey Club, Hockey Diversity Alliance, You Can Play, or Sick Kids Hospital patches. It certainly would be a nice way to crawl back out of the hole they put themselves in with the Dusty Imoo hiring.
Whatever they choose, my hope is they respect the blue and white colour scheme. That would be easy enough on the blue jerseys by having a white font/logo, but when it comes to the white jerseys I cringe at the idea of anything red being prominently shown. They’re such beautiful jerseys, and I hope sponsors will respect that.
Osmows, because it’s a Canadian restaurant chain that is only growing in popularity, represents Toronto’s diverse foods and population…and I love their food. Also, can you imagine a new series of Fred VanVleet/Norman Powell-esque Osmow’s commercials with William Nylander and Morgan Rielly? Fantastic stuff.
There are plenty of directions the Leafs could go in this wild world of advertisement. But knowing the way they like to do things, it’ll likely be a Rogers, Bell, or Scotiabank ad. But that’s boring.
MLSE should spice it up. Go a different path. Do something new. The biggest team in the NHL could be the frontrunners in changing what the league looks like. I just don’t think that’ll happen if you choose one of the three obvious choices.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Great, now I’m excited for something that’s not even happening for another year.