Our data shows roughly a third of NBA fans say they’re aware of these small-format sponsorships (36%), while more than two in five NHL fans pay attention (44%).
The NBA began selling jersey sponsorships for the 2017-18 season, making it the first major North American sports league to do so.
“Jersey sponsorships provide deeper engagement with partners looking to build a unique association with our teams and the additional investment will help grow the game in exciting new ways,” Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement at the time. “We’re always thinking about innovative ways the NBA can remain competitive in a global marketplace, and we are excited to see the results of this three-year trial.”
Citing the financial hit of COVID-19, the NHL first started selling helmet ads for its 2020-21 season.
Awareness of these sponsorships is one thing. Converting these fans into customers of the sponsoring brands is another. But YouGov data shows roughly half of NBA fans (51%) and about three in five NHL fans (59%) report using the product or service of these brands.
Further, 35% of both NBA and NHL fans say they are somewhat or much more likely to use the product or service of the brand whose logo appears on the helmets or jerseys of their favorite teams.
Meanwhile, the YouGov poll revealed further attitudinal data about team sponsors in general.
More than half of both NBA fans (54%) and NHL fans (59%) say they can name the venue their favorite team plays in; 42% of NBA fans and 40% of NHL fans enjoy interactive activations at games with brands, such as t-shirt tosses; and 30% of NBA fans and 29% of NHL fans say they have researched their team’s jersey patch or jersey sponsor after seeing it on player apparel.
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Methodology: The data is based on a sample size of 1,260 NBA fans and 608 NHL fans in the US. All interviews were conducted online in April 2022.
Image credit: NBA