Combine the NHL’s return with your promotional items

After a 113-day lockout, the National Hockey League (NHL) will finally return to action on January 19. The sport has seen gradual increases in popularity in recent years. The NHL recently reported that its playoff broadcast earned record ratings in 2012, thanks in part to the success of teams in major markets like New York City, Boston and Los Angeles.

Small business owners can use promotional marketing products to capitalize on hockey’s popularity. For instance, pens and magnets can be decorated with team colors instead of standard corporate imagery. Additionally, branded water bottles can be given to amateur players who dream of playing in the NHL one day.

Promotional calendars are the best gifts for tying a business to a sport. A team’s schedule can be used to fill out every page, so consumers will develop brand recognition whenever they look up the next game.

Entrepreneurs must be careful to avoid copyright infringement if they aren’t official sponsors of an NHL franchise. Color schemes and city names are usable because they aren’t trademarked content, but team names and imagery are protected. Generic identifiers and symbols like hockey sticks and pucks can create a strong association between a business and the sport without causing any legal ramifications.

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