MassMutual Champs? NHL Divisions Now Named After Sponsors

Sports leagues will go to great lengths to earn some extra cash — and in some cases, stay afloat.

First, they convinced large corporations to buy the naming rights to arenas and stadiums. Then, they started putting sponsorships on uniforms. And now, the NHL has taken it to another level.

As relayed by Malik Patterson of Muse.tv, the naming rights of each of hockey’s four divisions have been sold and will be referred to as a respective sponsor’s brand.

The North Division is now the “Scotia.” The West is now the “Honda.” The Central will now go by “Discover,” and the East will be called the “MassMutual.” So someday, someone may be hanging the “Discover Division Champs” banner from their arena. What a world pro sports have become, huh?

“These strategic moves are to increase advertising marketing and profit for each team and the league as a whole,” Patterson wrote. “Thirteen teams have already announced sponsor rights through Tuesday. Although, the majority are directly connected to the names of the arenas of which the respective teams play for.”

The NHL will also allow teams to sell sponsorships for the sides of player helmets for the first time, though that is being done strictly on a one-year trial basis as of now.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

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  1. I don’t have any issues with a 1 year sponsorship, but I think it would’ve been cool to use the old division names(Adams, Patrick, Smythe and Norris). I get this about getting some money back into the NHL though

    • It ain’t gonna work. Fans will not replace Adams, Patrick Smythe and Norris with corporate names.

      That being said, I am old enough to remember when there was actually outrage when the Orange Bowl became the Fed-Ex Orange Bowl. You would have thought the world was ending. Now? We don’t even blink at tradition being replace.

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