Is your arena or sport cluttered with corporate branding, signage, and advertisements? Do you think you have seen it all when it comes to sponsorship clutter?
People often criticize the sport of NASCAR for being blanketed with logos. On race weekend, everything seems to be branded - uniforms, car hoods, the parking lot, etc. But NASCAR doesn't near in comparison to the sponsorship model that has been enveloped by the Czech Extraliga hockey team, HC Slavia Praha.
HC Slavia Praha, which plays its home games in the O2 Arena, has sold every inch of their arena to corporate partners... well almost it seems. The team's ice rink and uniforms scream sponsorship so loud, that it is with hope that sports in the United States will never revert to such a model. The team lists 75 official sponsors on their website, and every one of them seem to be featured either on the ice or on the team's uniforms.
Despite all the clutter, there is one key takeaway for many NHL and minor league hockey teams. HC Slavia Praha has managed to create and sell branded glass to corporate partners. As the pictures dictate, the team has managed to brand the rink glass with the logos of two (2) partners, Skoda Auto and Nokia.
This semi-obstructive branding is an additional inventory piece that we have yet to see in the United States. It would be interesting to see how well media broadcasts would pick up this branding piece, but is definitely something that NHL teams could consider as they continuously look for new performance level inventory to sell.