What Inventory Is Left

I was watching a hockey game the other night and the virtual signage on the glass at the ends of the rink made me think, “what others spaces are left to sponsor?”  So here is a quick list of physical and virtual inventory by sport that hasn’t been sponsored yet, but could be. I realize that several of these might not be allowed because of rules on having uniform court/rink/field elements, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen in time…


  • The crease
  • The blue lines
  • The penalty box
  • The goal netting (like with field goal nets?)
  • The faceoff circles
  • Center ice (if you ever dared to replace the team logo)

Basketball (after seeing Oregon’s new court, I believe anything is possible):

  • The shot clock
  • The paint
  • The top of the key
  • The mid-court, free throw or three-point lines
  • The baselines (out of bounds)


  • The endzones (combine the team name/logo with the presenting sponsor?)
  • The virtual first down line (have seen this on some broadcasts I believe)
  • Sections of the coaches box and players area on the sidelines (the way NBA benches are)
  • The instant replay review booth


  • The bases (remember the Spiderman controversy a few years ago?)
  • The outfield (logos mowed in to the grass)
  • The on-deck circles
  • The first and third base lines (just along the grass)
  • The warning track
  • The bullpens

I know that some of these may seem ridiculous, but many of them don’t even need to be physical elements. The entire reason I started thinking about this was because of the virtual signage in hockey games. There’s no reason that the same technology can’t be applied to these types of locations.

Note: Check out the comments below. I tried to add a little more context to the idea behind this post. Thanks!

6 thoughts on “What Inventory Is Left

  • January 27, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I don’t think the answer for teams is to throw more logos around on areas that are not currently sponsored. The answer is developing more creative assets that allows for unique activation opportunities.

  • January 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Looking at today’s sports facilities, do we really need to search for more sponsorship opportunities? I know sponsorships are a huge source of revenue, but when is too much, too much?

    As a New York Mets fan, I find myself extremely irritated when I walk around Citi Field because there’s more space designated for sponsorships than for the team that plays in the stadium. I think there should be a limit to the amount of signage in a stadium/arena.

  • January 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I probably should have provided more context to this post.

    I’m not saying that teams SHOULD sell all of this inventory. I was just trying to come up with as many options as I could for things that haven’t been done yet.

    Tara – yes, logos and signage by itself isn’t enough. Any sponsorship deal that includes signage should have other elements and ways to activate in an engaging manner.

    Lowell – some teams sell more locations than others. It depends on the number of sponsors, the level of their deals, etc. Sometimes less is more, but not always. Hopefully, a team never gets to the point of clutter, because then no one wins.

  • January 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    You’re forgetting probably the most marketable location of all – the uniform! US sports teams (with the exception of MLS) are relatively unique in they don’t allow more than the manufacturer’s logo on the uniforms. Will this eventually change?

  • January 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Baseball: 1st and 3rd base coaches boxes (they never stand in them anyway). The screen behind the catcher (like the net behind the goalposts in football)

    Football: The back of the coaches playsheets (they always hold them up to cover up their mouths when calling a play). The endzone pylons they would have to be a bigger than their current size but would work

    Hockey: The actual puck (for those over head shots on face offs)

    Bowling: The pins. The ball return. This may be done already, I don’t watch much bowling

  • February 3, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Arena Text & Graphics makes it possible for all the fans to display text & graphics, including text and graphics (inventory) for corporate sponsors.

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