The New Jersey Devils and Prudential Financial announced the expansion of their groundbreaking Devils Buy Black Program presented by Prudential Financial to support and amplify business opportunities for Black entrepreneurs. Through its partnership with Prudential Financial, the Devils set an industry-first standard in the 2021-2022 National Hockey League (NHL) season by donating the Devils premier helmet brand position for 30 games to a Black-owned Newark-based business, driving unprecedented marketing and business exposure to the company. In the program’s third year, Prudential Financial will increase their helmet brand position donation by nearly 50%, to include all road games this season. New this year, former Devils Captain Bryce Salvador, along with current Devils players, will join the program, including the application process to review submissions and help select a winner.
The Devils Buy Black Program presented by Prudential Financial application window is open you can apply at devils.nhl.com/buyblack and interested companies have until August 10 to submit their application.
The games will include broadcast exposure on MSG Networks, ESPN+/Hulu, Turner Sports, NHL Network, International Rightsholders and a range of significant Devils digital and social platforms, showcasing the winning brand on a national level throughout North America during the Devils 2022-23 NHL season.
“Prudential is proud to be part of this winning game plan to support and amplify Black-owned businesses,” said Susan Somersille Johnson, Prudential Financial’s chief marketing officer. “This program is making a big impact helping Black entrepreneurs build, grow and sustain their businesses on a local and national scale, and together we look forward to working with the Devils team and Bryce Salvador to provide these businesses with new opportunities.”
A veteran of 14 NHL seasons, Salvador, who served as the first Black captain in Devils franchise history, and third in NHL history, will join forces with the Devils to serve as a liaison for the Devils Buy Black Program presented by Prudential Financial.In this role, Salvador will educate and engage current players, meet with the winning entrepreneur(s), participate in a lecture series with Prudential executives, and be an ambassador for the program.
“The Devils Buy Black Program presented by Prudential Financial has done tremendous work supporting New Jersey-based, Black-owned businesses in our community, by providing resources, exposure, and opportunity,” said Salvador. “I look forward to helping advance that program, by being part of the selection committee with Prudential, connecting with the current and previous companies that have participated, and helping our current players get involved and be part of its impact. The authenticity of the work done has resonated with me, and I am proud to serve as a bridge between Prudential, the program and the Devils organization.”
As a former member of the New Jersey Devils for much of his career, Salvador was named the 10th captain in the New Jersey Devils history during the 2012-13 season and went on to serve three more seasons in the role up until his retirement. Post-playing career, Salvador served as a driving force behind xHockeyProducts, a hockey training company and storefront which works to develop the best hockey training aids and interactive equipment possible. While serving as a rising regional and national broadcaster for MSG Networks and TNT, his youth hockey commitments, insights on the state of the game and the experience of diverse people in the sport of hockey are looked to and applauded.
“As a League, we understand that investing in diverse businesses strengthens our communities through economic empowerment and builds relationships that lead to fandom,” said Kim Davis, Senior Executive Vice President at the National Hockey League. “The Devils Buy Black Program is a Best in Class example of ways in which our Clubs can continue to lean in and invest into the future growth of hockey and our local communities.”
“We are excited to partner with Prudential Financial as we take the Devils Buy Black Program presented by Prudential Financial to another level in its third year,” said Jake Reynolds, President, New Jersey Devils & Prudential Center. “They have once again graciously donated their helmet sponsorship location, and have championed our efforts to expand the program to greater heights. Bringing in Bryce, who has varying experiences throughout his industry- as an owner, operator, and employee- will allow a unique perspective. His experience growing the sport in collaboration with youth hockey programs, grassroots efforts and the team’s rink partners throughout New Jersey serves as a tremendous example for business executives and his connection to our current team will be immensely valuable.”
The New Jersey Devils and Prudential Financial became the first team in NHL history to announce a helmet brand partnership on December 22, 2020. Since then, Prudential Financial has donated over 600 helmets to Black youth ice hockey programs. During the 2022-23 season, Prudential Financial, the exclusive sponsor of the program, will donate an additional 200 helmets, as well as provide networking events and panels for over 100 Black-owned business leaders to drive connections and foster the strong entrepreneurial spirit of Newark.
More than 200 black-owned New Jersey-based businesses applied for the program over the last two years. In the 2021-22 season, the program created extensive national sports, business and marketing exposure, including on regional and national television broadcasts for winning company Razu, a networking and collaboration digital platform for musicians based in Irvington, NJ, that provides music creators with the tools to create, produce and enhance songs virtually. The ensuing announcement of Razu’s selection generated over 186 million incremental impressions and introduced Razu to the world. In addition to the invaluable media exposure, Razu received over $500,000 in media value and over 42,000,000 impressions across social media from the helmet decal. This exposure resulted in a 100% increase in traffic to their site and a 20% increase in users and tremendous brand awareness amongst Devils fans.
“Razu’s selection as last year’s featured company for the Devils Buy Black Program Presented by Prudential Financial was truly a life-changing (once-in-a-lifetime) experience for myself and the entire company,” said Saint-Ulysse. “The announcement helped introduce Razu to the world, and a whole new audience of people who recognized the brand and were interested in what we were doing in the music industry. The media impact, social media impressions, and brand awareness were invaluable to the company. We received over half-a-million dollars in media exposure and a 100% increase in traffic to our site. Being involved with the great people at the Devils and Prudential Financial has set us up for much greater future success and I couldn’t be happier.”
Flows Tasty Treats and Newark Paper Company were the winning Devils Buy Black Program presented by Prudential Financial companies in the 2020-21 season.