Upper Midwest Elite League Turns Players Into Skating Billboards

Walk into any number of rinks for an Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League tilt this fall and you’ll think you stepped right into the Czech Extraliga. The UMHSEL, which provides a place for Minnesota high schoolers to play at a high level before and after the Minnesota high school season, has announced all of its uniforms will be adorned with advertisements.

We’re not just talking advertising patches, we’re talking skating pop-up ads.


Well…. um…. uh…. gee whiz.

Please welcome to the ice YOUR TCF Bank Wildcats, brought to you by TCF Bank in association with Bauer!

So, first question, why?

“We’ve been discussing (this) for a few years because in order for us to generate more substantial sponsorship revenue we need to develop inventory that was going to be attractive to corporate Minnesota,” said Elite League Marketing Specialist Robert Fallen.

The UMHSEL is a non-profit entity, but hey you need money to run non-profits, too. I’d never fault an organization for trying to generate funds necessary to operate. That said, those poor kids.

These would even make the boys over in the ole Extraliga blush, and there isn’t a square inch of jersey that isn’t adorned with some sponsor logo over there.

Just in case you don’t have a favorite region to root for, perhaps you can choose your favorite team via which business you like the best. Here’s the breakdown:

Team Great Plains: Luther Automotive
Team North: Muscle Milk
Team Northeast: Mpls.St. Paul Magazine
Team Northwest: Velocity Hockey Center
Team Southeast: TCF Bank
Team Southwest: Starkey

If you were wondering what Starkey was, like me, it’s a company that specializes in hearing aids. I Googled it. I guess that’s some pretty effective advertising after all.

Just remember kids, the name on the back isn’t nearly as important as the one on the front. DRINK MUSCLE MILK!

(h/t @evegoe, @Sean_Leahy)


About Chris Peters

Editor of The United States of Hockey. Contributor to CBSSports.com, USA Hockey Magazine and more. Former USA Hockey PR guy. Current Iowan.
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5 Responses to Upper Midwest Elite League Turns Players Into Skating Billboards

  1. Rob L says:

    Its not about the jerseys, it’s about the hockey.

  2. . says:

    if they sold any jerseys in the past, I can just about guarantee they wont sell any of those hideous things.

  3. JT says:

    I think it’s a great idea. I like the way they look too!

  4. James says:

    I don’t mind them at all. Ask the kids what they think of them and you’ll get a positive response, guarantee it. It’s something different and unique, and another cool jersey they can hang up in their room. On another note, they should’ve distinguished the jersey colors a bit more, as games between say “Starkey” vs “Muscle Milk” could get a little confusing for the players in my opinion.

  5. I can handle the jerseys…it’s the socks that get me giggling.

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