Bruins fans will find cybersecurity ads impossible to block this season when Rapid7 becomes the first corporate sponsor of advertising space on the team’s black-and-gold jerseys.
The five-year patch sponsorship deal was announced Thursday morning at Warrior Ice Arena.
“The first jersey sponsorship in the history of the franchise is certainly a big deal, and we’re thrilled to have a sponsorship with Rapid7,” said team president Cam Neely, who showed off the jerseys with Rapid7 CEO Corey E. Thomas of the Boston-based cybersecurity company.
The deal is believed to be worth at least $30 million.
The patches feature a relatively modest “RAPID7″ logo with white letters for the black jerseys and the opposite for white jerseys. The patch is 1 inch by 3 inches.
“The ‘cleanliness’ of the jersey was a big part, that was a requirement,” said Glen Thornborough, chief revenue officer of the Bruins, who described the new partnership as “one of the most significant partnerships we have.
“They are clearly interested in brand awareness, and we wanted a brand integration partner. Cosmetically, how it looked on the jersey was critically important to us; we needed to make sure this was aligned for us to put it on the jersey.”
The Bruins patch is a speck compared with the patches the Montreal Canadiens unveiled earlier this week — a circular gold-on-blue “RBC” (a Toronto-based bank) on home jerseys that has drawn the ire of fans for a variety of aesthetic and cultural reasons.
About half of the 32 NHL teams have announced deals, including “Milk” for the Maple Leafs and “Caesars Sportsbook” for the Capitals.
Teams had the option of selling space to different sponsors for different jerseys, but the Bruins opted for the single sponsor.
Rapid7, a global company that trades on NASDAQ, is headquartered at 120 Causeway Street, one of the newer office towers adjacent to TD Garden.
“Our customers are massive hockey fans,” said Thomas. “Boston’s a great town, the Bruins are well-regarded. You want to make sure that if you do something that it’s with the right partner, one that represents both the value and the ethos of our organization.”
Keith Wachtel, chief business officer of the NHL, told the Globe in April that the league believes the patches will be “extremely lucrative across the 32 clubs,” in excess of $100 million a year combined.
Beginning last season, the Bruins sold space on their helmets for a TD Bank decal.
Since 2016, the Bruins had worn chest patches from the China-based ORG Packaging on their practice jerseys.
Thomas received his MBA from Harvard Business School and sits on the board of directors of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, according to the Rapid7 website.
Next year, the Red Sox and other MLB teams will enter the jersey-patch world. The MassMutual financial services company is expected to become the debut jersey corporate sponsor for the Red Sox in a 10-year deal believed to be worth $17 million a year.
Since the 2017-18 season, the NBA has allowed a small patch on the left chest of its players’ uniforms in a deal believed to be worth in excess of $200 million annually combined among all 30 teams, according to Boardroom.
CNBC estimated that the Celtics’ Vistaprint uniform patch sponsor brings in $10 million-$15 million a year to the team.