The New Jersey Devils announced on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that the team will begin accepting applications for the Devils Buy Black Program in continuance of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment’s action plan and 20 million-dollar commitment to racial equity. All interested applicants may apply at NewJerseyDevils.com/buyblack. The Devils Buy Black Program was developed to promote local, Black-owned businesses and provide them with expert marketing consultation, advertising value, educational programs and additional tools to succeed. Applying businesses will become eligible for other resources such as grant opportunities, assistance accessing Payroll Protection Program loans, networking events, and future Devils business programs.
“We are incredibly proud to commence the application process for the Devils Buy Black Program, and with it renew our commitment to use the power of the Devils brand and three-time Stanley Cup-winning legacy, to elevate Black entrepreneurs in our region,” said David Gould, New Jersey Devils and Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment’s chief diversity and impact officer. “Black businesses contribute so much to our economy, culture and region. Unfortunately, they are less prevalent, and they average less than a third of annual sales compared to white-owned businesses in our region. It’s important we acknowledge past policies, such as lending discrimination and segregation, that have kept Black business owners from accessing the investment and customer base to help them grow and succeed. The Devils Buy Black program is about celebrating all that Black Businesses have to offer our region and connecting them with exposure and resources to which they may not have access. Leveraging the Devils brand to help grow local, Black businesses is both our honor and a responsibility.”
Each business selected through the application process will become a Devils Official Partner for the 2020-2021 season and receive valuable marketing assets across Devils platforms. In addition to the marketing, select businesses will work alongside the Devils Partnership Activation Team and have access to the Brand and Creative team, Content Team and the Devils Digital, Research and Analytics Teams. Selected businesses will undergo a company and brand analysis to identify its targeted marketing needs. Alongside Black business owners, the Devils Front Office will build a customized strategy and marketing plan to be executed unitizing Devils platforms and resources to help grow and sustain the local businesses.
“Our New Jersey Devils Front Office Staff and award-winning Marketing and Brand Team consider it a special honor to have the opportunity to share our resources, expertise and brand platform with selected Black and Brown business owners in our region,” said Jillian Frechette, senior vice president, Marketing, New Jersey Devils. “We look forward to interfacing with and working alongside each ambitious Black entrepreneur in the program to analyze, strategize and customize a marketing mix specifically targeted to meet their business needs. As the City of Newark and State of New Jersey share in every win our team makes on the ice, so will we share in the wins and successes of these business, whom we very much will consider part of the Devils and HBSE family.”
While the strategy for each business will be determined based on their needs, the customized plans may include amplification across Devils platforms including social media marketing, custom content produced by the Devils Graphics team, professionally-designed email marketing, NewJerseyDevils.com website presence, in-game exposure at Devils home games, radio and broadcast advertisements and more.
Along with access to the Devils expansive audience, selected companies will be invited to participate in education and development programs. Opportunities include an invitation to a speaker series featuring top industry executives, where companies will gain business insights.
All applying businesses will be invited to participate in education and development programs as well as other Devils small business programs, including a partnership with Invest Newark, a local community nonprofit focused on supporting minority businesses and entrepreneurs, which will offer support applying for and accessing Payroll Protection Program loans.
“Invest Newark is committed to helping thousands of Newark-based African American businesses thrive through the pandemic,” said Bernel Hall, president & CEO of Invest Newark. “Whether it’s access to patient capital, MWBE certification opportunities, or Business-to-Business contracts via our Procurement Portal, Invest Newark works hard to position small businesses for expansion. To that end, Invest Newark is excited to support the New Jersey Devils’ Buy Black Program. We believe that Newark-based African American businesses will greatly benefit from their marketing expertise and brand equity.”
Applications for the Devils Buy Black Program will be accepted now through Feb. 2. To apply or for more information, interested businesses can visit NewJerseyDevils.com/buyblack.
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