Let’s face it; hockey has been enough to keep many of us sane throughout the whirlwind that has been 2020. Although the sport graced our screens throughout the season, the sport lost out on billions of dollars. Could digital ads be coming to future NHL games to make up for it all?
Making things work
Athletes were left with some difficult decisions to make as the world went into lockdown at the beginning of 2020. Many sports wrote themselves off for the rest of the year, but some found a way to come back. Hockey is one on the list. The NHL decided to use a bubble system that allowed the players to battle it out on the ice without putting anyone in unnecessary danger. Thankfully, their plan paid off, and the winners, Tampa Bay Lightning, were crowded at the end of September.
Losing a lot of income
Even though the NHL found a way to make things work, the league has lost out on billions of dollars thanks to the global crisis. Apparently, the league makes around half of its income from game-day sales, including ticket sales, advertising, and anything else sold on the day. In 2019, the total income came in at around $5 billion. That’s quite the chunk of money to suddenly be missing.
The NHL has been left looking for ways to make extra money to cover the losses. Some of the many features on the cards are all thanks to a deal with Verizon. After having 5G installed, the stadiums will run in-arena augmented reality to make it feel as though members of the crowd are there. Crowds can also track players’ puck speeds and their time on the ice from the comfort of their own home. That’s not all. The NHL has even worked with Supponor to create digital ads.
Testing digital ads
So how do digital ads work? They will appear around the edge of the ice, like most of us are used to. However, they will come with a difference. Rather than having the same message printed and broadcast to the world, each one will be specific to each country. This means that advertisers can target specific audiences by tailoring ads to each area of the world.
Opening the doors
Incorporating digital ads opens the doors for a host of extra revenue for the NHL. It means that more advertisers could sign up as they can specifically reach the audience they want in the world. It also means that social media might soon be an even more prominent part of the game as hashtags or updates can be displayed on the digital ads. To top it off, executives believe that players could land more sponsorships as a result of the customizable ads.
Technology has come a long way over the years. It seems that even sport can benefit from all these advancements, thanks to the digital ads that will soon be coming to all future NHL games. Now, it’s just time to iron out the details.