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Chicago Blackhawks Add Jersey Ad

Depressing news out of Chicago this afternoon, as the Blackhawks have announced they will be adding a jersey ad to their home (red) sweaters for the upcoming season.

As is typical for jersey ads, the team is calling their advertiser a “jersey patch partner.”

But perhaps even more upsetting than the fact that the team is adding a jersey ad at all is the fact that the advertiser is a sports betting venture.

According to the Blackhawks’ press release, “Sports betting has continued to grow in popularity among our fans and offered new ways for them to engage with our game,” Blackhawks President of Business Operations Jaime Faulkner said. “We couldn’t be prouder to be adding Circa Sports to the Chicago Blackhawks roster of partners as they share in our goals to grow interest in our game and offer fans exciting and original experiences.”

And why are the Blackhawks announcing this now, when the season doesn’t start for several months?

The NHL Draft is this Thursday and Friday, and they want their draft picks to be holding a sweater with the new ad.

The team is so proud of their new advertiser, they even created a hype video…

No matter what you think of jersey advertising, even those who might be OK with it probably won’t be too comfortable with teams “partnering” with gambling sites.

Here’s a little better look at the new jersey ad:

The ad will appear on the upper right chest of the Blackhawks red sweaters. That spot was the previous location of the team’s “ROCKY” memorial patch, which was put there last season in memory of Rocky Wirtz, the team’s former owner who passed away last season.

Comments (26)

    One of the rare teams whose jersey can’t go from inoffensive to offensive through the addition of a jersey advertisement. They instead become doubly offensive.

    It only became offensive today with the ad on it. Other than that, it’s a beauty.

    I understand why racial stereotypes are bothersome, but I don’t understand why anyone would be offended by a name/logo meant to honor a great Native American individual. Black Hawk (he spelled it as two words, IIRC) was a great man with an interesting life/history, and I don’t think any of us (unless you’re maybe one of his direct descendants) has the right to say he shouldn’t be recognized this way.

    They’re ALREADY partnering with betting sites.

    When you have NHL Stars signing with BetMGM (Connor McDavid), Bet 99 (Auston Matthews) and Proline (John Tavares), this is just the beginning.

    There are Betting Site ads in EVERY Arena. FanDuel, BetMGM, Draft Kings, bet365, Caesars, etc. Another ad placement on the jersey is just the expansion, no more.

    I agree with you 100% Tim, but somehow a gambling AD on the uniform is doubly obnoxious. This site is Uni Watch — we’re not terribly concerned about ads in stadia, arenae, fieldhouses, etc. No matter the content, ads have been and will be a part of the landscape. But ads on the uniform (and to a lesser extent, on the field of play) — where ADS DO NOT BELONG — is something against which we will always rail.

    But as far as gambling/betting sites proliferating sports? I’m 100% in agreement with you that they’re not going anywhere (unfortunately), and are ever so slowly beginning to creep onto unis and fields of play.

    You did comment a couple days back on the Rickwood Game and it’s “overly Modern” outfield wall ads, showing BetMGM…but I’ll agree, it wasn’t the focus of the post. Anyway, good discussion!

    The marriage of sports and gambling is about as unholy as it gets. I love this uniform; the pill is all the more bitter.

    There is ONE upside to this advertisement announcement:

    We get our first look at Chicago’s jerseys in the Fanatics template. No dimples on the shoulders (RIP)

    At this point I’m kinda numb to the ad patches. They’ll eventually make their way to every sport pro and college including the NFL once Goodell’s gone. Really interested to see what the next step is.

    Red Bull New York, but all sports.
    Xfinity present Philadelphia Baseball Club
    Coors Brewing Rocky Mountain Baseball
    You get the idea.
    The other day I heard someone say how crazy it is that both Idiocracy and Demolition Man are competing to be the most accurate predictors of the future, and unfortunately they are both winning.

    I wonder what if anything it means as Circa is the first (I think) advertiser to be on two sweaters, Chicago and Vegas. I hope it means there aren’t enough interested corporations to go around the NHL and the whole thing fizzles

    Imagine trying to explain the landscape of sports, let alone everything else going on, to someone from 1999. Just 25 years ago I don’t think they would believe how destructive it would be to shrink a computer into your cellphone and have constant access to information from anyone and anywhere, 24/7.
    “So all the leagues have official sports betting partnerships and some teams even have ads for sportsbooks on their uniforms. You can bet on just about any part of any play in any game instantaneously on your phone. But Pete Rose is still banned for life.”

    Funny….when I 1st saw the picture, without reading the article, I thought it was for a sporting goods store, as that gambling company doesn’t exist in Canada I also thought this one at least looked somewhat subtle , as opposed to a big rectangle patch.

    Circa is already on the Golden knights tops. Guess they are doubling down!

    I like the (subtle?) change that you wrote the word Blackhawks on the site. I’m not sure where I land without learning a little more (seems like it was supposed to be in honor) but it’s refreshing to see since it’s the team name and previous articles showed the logo anyway

    Now that Paul isn’t running the site, can we stop pretending the sponsor’s logo is the same as an advertisement? Real advertisements have a message, not just a brand logo.

    No. And we’re not pretending. If you PAY to put your logo on a jersey, that’s the literal definition of an ad. You may not agree, but that’s the way this site has always, and will continue, to treat them. You can argue (and I’d agree) that a makers mark (ie a swoosh) isn’t an ad. But a corporation that pays a team to purchase space on their product is an advertiser. Period.

    thank you for removing mr yuk. i hate jersey ads just as much as the next guy on this site but it was annoying having to switch sites to see what the full news was.

    How will this work for Bedard and others under 21? Is there a legal prohibition (national or local) on people hawking gambling while underage? I can’t think of anyone from VGK that fits the bill, so maybe this is uncharted territory?

    Sports betting is a potential disease so by adding this uniform ad you are basically promoting a disease. Very odd for a health promoting pro sports team, even if playing hockey may be hazardous to your health in itself.

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