The Basics of Hockey Board Ads

Okay so you’ve seen rink boards you’re entire life – both at your local rinks and on NHL broadcasts. Maybe you are even interested in purchasing some!

But first you need are looking to find out a couple things:

  • What are rink boards made out of?
  • What should you pay for them?

What are they made of?

Firstly there are two types of rink boards that are the most commonly used.

The first is a vinyl sticker or decal that is applied directly to the boards.

These stickers are usually digitally printed with vinyl that is built to last in colder settings such as hockey rinks.

The vinyl is usually coated in a protective layer of laminate or some other form of plastic. This helps prevent tears and can lessen the impact of puck marks to a certain degree.

Lower quality vinyl boards without a strong layer of laminate can usually wear out pretty quickly – either with considerable puck marks that wear out the graphic or with tears in the ads from players being checked into the boards or certain shots.

Stronger quality boards will hold up better over time. However it is important to note that even with stronger materials puck marks will still accumulate over time. These types of board ads should last at least one full-season where they maintain their good appearance. Some locations on a hockey rink such as by the player benches can get worn out faster because of skates hitting the boards.

However it is still not a bad idea to change ads often enough to maintain a good brand appearance.

We certainly recommend creating simple designs that will not be overly impacted with puck marks. For example, writing a lot of small text that could be easily disrupted with black spots from pucks.  

NHL board ads are made up of stickers that are usually quite often during a season – even as much as once each game.   

This is because NHL team sponsors pay significant dollars and so teams and the league want to make sure their sponsors are happy with what is being displayed.

Most vinyl ads are usually no thicker than 3mm-4mm.  

The cost of producing laminate ads depends on the size and materials being used but generally will cost around $100-$250 per board.

The second most common method of rink board ads in rinks involves covering an ad with polycarbonate which is a hard plastic. Although some rinks can apply the polycarbonate after the ads are installed – more commonly the polycarbonate is built into the boards and ads are simply slid into place.

Oftentimes if you’ve gone into a local hockey rink and seen ads that haven’t changed in a long time – these are polycarbonate covers.

These ads are more long-lasting than the vinyl ads however the trade off is that because the polycarbonate can be in place for a long-time oftentimes the ad may not “pop” as much because of the thicker covering. 

Overall the most significant cost associated with the boards is the cost of acquiring the space. For local and community rinks generally you can expect to pay at least $300-500 a year with more popular rinks being upwards of $2000 or more depending on the location of the ad space.

In terms of sizes for both types of boards the size can range from 30-36 inches in height to between 6 to 12 feet in length. The most common is usually around 33 inches tall and 8 feet in length.

As you can see there are a lot of details to consider when looking at hockey board ads so make sure you do your homework if looking to get some yourself!