The Boston Bruins, Arizona Coyotes and Toronto Maple Leafs, all from North American ice hockey’s top-tier NHL, have brought in inaugural jersey patch partners in the last 48 hours, with 2022-23 being the first season NHL sides will be allowed such partners.
The Bruins have signed up cybersecurity software firm Rapid7 as their inaugural jersey patch partner, in a multi-year deal, while the Coyotes have expanded an existing commercial deal with Gila River Resorts and Casinos (Gila) to include jersey patch rights and the Maple Leafs have done the same with Dairy Farmers of Ontario.
The NHL first legalized jersey patch commercial partnerships in August 2021 – albeit to start in 2022-23 – since which point multiple teams – at the latest count, double figures – have taken up the opportunity.
Rapid7, headquartered in Boston, has also become the official cybersecurity partner of both the Bruins and of the TD Garden venue where they play home fixtures.
Through the partnership, Rapid7’s logo will be placed on the right chest-front of all Bruins jerseys, including for both home and away games, plus practice sweaters.
Rapid7 will be, the Bruins have said, the first-ever cybersecurity partner for an NHL side.
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As well as the jersey patch, Rapid7 will also sponsor a premium ‘Rapid7 Rafters’ section of seating at TD Garden. Rapid7 Rafters members will have on-demand access to all high-profile sporting and entertainment events at the arena, where basketball’s Boston Celtics also play.
From October 15, the day the Bruins play their opening home game of the season (against the Coyotes), the jersey will be available for fans to purchase.
Cam Neely, president of the Bruins, said: “It was important to me and our organization that we identified the right partner with a connection to Boston and a strong commitment to enacting positive change in our community. Rapid7 embodies these important values and we are proud to welcome them to the Boston Bruins family."
Corey Thomas, Rapid7’s chairman and chief executive, added: “Joining the Boston Bruins family as the first-ever jersey patch and official cybersecurity partner is an honor and incredible opportunity for both brands to make a lasting impact for our customers and communities. The Rapid7 family looks forward to embarking on this exciting next chapter with such a legendary franchise.”
The Coyotes and Gila deal, meanwhile, is a multi-year partnership expansion and extension which will place the company’s logo on the team’s home jerseys for all home games at the Mullett Arena from the opening fixture onwards.
Gila will also be the team’s presenting sponsor for 2022-23, which for the Coyotes gets underway on October 13 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The expansion marks the first time a North American-owned gaming enterprise becomes an NHL jersey partner.
The Maple Leafs have also added to an existing partnership to secure a jersey patch deal, with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario organization.
Through a multi-year extension, that brand’s ‘MIlk’ patch will appear on the team’s matchday sweaters from this season onwards.
The brand’s logo will be present on all team sweaters, in the upper right chest space.
So far, in addition to the Bruins, Coyotes, and Maple Leafs, the Columbus Blue Jackets, St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, Las Vegas Golden Knights, Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, and most recently the Montreal Canadiens, have all signed jersey patch sponsorship deals.
Last week, it was reported that the Edmonton Oilers had hired sports marketing agency Athletes First (A1 Partners) to land a jersey patch sponsor before the start of the regular season.
Image: Claus Andersen/Getty Images