Last season the Devils and their helmet advertiser, Prudential, announced a program to support local Black-owned businesses. The program, called Buy Black, resulted in the New Jersey-based digital platform Razu getting to advertise on the team’s road helmets for 30 road games at no charge.
Today the Devils announced that Buy Black is being renewed and expanded. This year’s featured Buy Black business will be featured as the team’s helmet advertiser for all 41 road games — again, free of charge.
That business is LeGrand Coffee House, a coffee shop in Woodbridge, N.J. It’s run by Eric LeGrand, a former Rutgers football player who suffered a serious on-field spinal injury in 2010.
While the gesture is a nice one, I remain conflicted about this initiative. Is a local coffee shop ad better than a corporate insurance ad? I suppose, but I’d still prefer to see no helmet ad at all. Also, why do they keep relegating these local advertisers to road games? Shouldn’t their ads be worn at home, where home fans can see them? (Yes, I realize the home fans will watch the road games on TV, but it still seems odd to focus on something local and then not feature it at home.)
Meanwhile, the Prudential logo will remain on the team’s home helmets.
(My thanks to Phil for bringing this development to my attention.)