Sponsorship spending on the National Hockey League and its 30 clubs totaled $505 million in the 2016-2017 season, a 5.9 percent increase over the previous year, according to ESP research.

The increase exceeds the projected 4.3 percent increase in overall 2017 sports spending and 4.1 percent increase in overall North American sponsorship spending, but lags the 6.7 percent increase in the 2015-2016 NHL season.

Automakers replaced quick-service restaurants as the most active category sponsoring the NHL in the 2016-2017 season. Automobile companies are 3.4 times more likely to sponsor the NHL than the average of all sponsors.

Technology, retail and sports apparel & equipment joined the list of the ten most active categories, while lottery & gaming, non-alcoholic beverages and food dropped off.

Reebok was the most active sponsor of the NHL in the 2016-2017 season in terms of number of deals. Reebok will relinquish that status in the upcoming season after being replaced by sibling brand Adidas as the league’s official jersey provider.

Below, three other factors expected to drive increased spending in the upcoming season:

  • Scotiabank’s groundbreaking $800 million naming rights deal to the Air Canada Centre, home to the Toronto Maple Leafs and other teams
  • A new NHL franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights
  • The expiration of the league’s $400 million partnership with MillerCoors and Molson Coors—and a potentially larger deal following the 2016 acquisition of MillerCoors by Molson Coors.

NHL League/Team Sponsorship Revenue
NHL League/Team Sponsorship Revenue
*Estimate

Most Active Brands Sponsoring The NHL
Most Active Brands Sponsoring The NHL
One-hundred percent of NHL properties report Reebok as a sponsor.

Most Active Categories Sponsoring The NHL
Most Active Categories Sponsoring The NHL
Automobile companies are 3.4 times more likely to sponsor the NHL than the average of all sponsors.

NHL Team Sponsorship Rankings
NHL Team Sponsorship Rankings