The New Jersey Devils are expanding on their commitment to highlight and support Black-owned businesses.
In October, the Devils announced the next phase in their "Buy Black" program would be featured helmet advertising for 13 games this season. That arrangement, undertaken with Prudential, was the first time an NHL helmet sponsor had donated space.
New Jersey began accepting applications from interested parties in the fall, with the decals set to debut Wednesday. That successful business would be the third beneficiary of the Devils "Buy Black" initiative, after local businesses Flows Tasty Treats and Newark Paper Company were inaugural recipients of $1,000 grants and promotion by New Jersey last year.
The response to this latest phase was so strong that the Devils are upping the ante for their selected collaborator, Razu. The Irvington, New Jersey-based company was founded earlier this year as a networking and collaboration digital platform for musicians. Instead of displaying ads for just 13 road games, the Devils and Prudential are donating logo space on Devils' player helmets for 30 road games.
Razu's decal will debut Saturday against the New York Islanders.
Along with the logos, Razu will also receive exposure during Devils home games and be promoted across the team's social media platforms.
The Devils' program came to fruition after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 and is part of a wider action plan by New Jersey's parent company, Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, to funnel $20 million into combating systemic racism.
David Gould, chief diversity and impact officer for the Devils and HBSE, says the partnership with Razu is the latest step in helping local Black-owned businesses overcome historical challenges to find long-term success.
"[What is] really powerful about this program, is [when] we think about trying to diversify our sport and our fan base, especially being located in a city like Newark, that symbolically it really speaks that hockey is a sport for everyone," he said. "The Devils are a team for everyone and that we really care and appreciate and embrace everybody."