It's probably LESS to do with advertising than people think (i.e. not the first step in a process that leads to sponsors on the back of jerseys), but more to do with brand presentation. *Note - Tried to find a promo/press pic of Ovie but they were all of him in game* However in all these sorts of photoshoot pics, what's the one thing you notice about the player in questions jersey? If you, as an organisation, are trying to sell your brand then the last thing you want is your marquee player, the face of your franchise, obscuring part of their jersey (in this case, their number) when he is on TV or going to be snapped for the net or the papers. All arranged photos seem to have players with untucked jerseys it seems.
Not surprising this seemed to come at the request of GMs.
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