Fashion... on ice?

On Wednesday, Women's Wear Daily reported that Donna Karan International has signed a sponsorship deal with the mighty New York Rangers. As part of the agreement, the NHL team will wear DKNY-branded practice jerseys for the remainder of the 2011-2012 season.

If the players are wearing practice jerseys, then how exactly will these terms and conditions benefit the fashion brand, one might ask?

On January 2, the Rangers will play the Flyers at Citizens Bank Park in the 2012 Winter Classic, and HBO is chronicling both teams in its special series: 24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the Winter Classic. The behind-the-scenes footage of the players and coaching staff prepping for the Winter Classic will give the DKNY brand "quite some visibility."

On Wednesday evening, Aliza Licht, SVP of Communications at Donna Karan International, also known as DKNY PR GIRL (@dkny)  tweeted at HBO and the New York Rangers with, "How are our logos doing? Bet they look real pretty on camera. Photogenic & such."

Notably, this is not DKNY's first sponsorship deal with a professional sports team. The company penned a deal with the Yankees in spring 2010, which could indicate a growing interest from fashion brands in sports-related sponsorship deals.

This leads us to wonder: Will any fashion brand ever consider sponsoring a Philly team? After all, the Rangers are the least surprising team within the NHL to ink a deal with a fashion brand for two reasons: (1) It's New York and (2) Has anyone seen the 24/7 clip of Left Wing Sean Avery staring intently into the camera lens and modeling in his downtime? Can't imagine Ilya Bryzgalov removing his shirt for anyone, even for fashion's sake.

More from WWD / Read Sam Donnellon's column: '24/7' shows different side of Flyers, Rangers