Did Russians Introduce
When watching the 1972 Summit Series on DVD, it seems almost weird to see no advertising on the boards or on the ice. Such commercialization did not reach the National Hockey League until several years later around the turn of the decade.
Even odder is the fact that Russians have advertising on the boards at the Luzhniki Ice Palace. No, not advertisements promoting Lada cars or Russian vodka, but English ads geared towards Canadian viewers back at home.
Clearly this was an opportunity for the Russians to make a quick buck, although they likely didn't get a big piece of the pie. Companies such Catelli and Gillette likely paid Canadian television companies big bucks for the advertising opportunity.
Though it is common in the smallest of towns nowadays, I'm not sure about the origins of advertising on the boards at hockey rinks. As I said earlier, the NHL didn't jump onto this idea until about 1980. The WHA didn't seem to use it, and I haven't found any minor league that did either. Is it possible that this was the origin of rink board advertising?