The National Hockey League’s (NHL) New Jersey Devils have entered a three-year strategic partnership with National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) team the Metropolitan Riveters to help grow women’s ice hockey.
The Devils’ first-of-its-kind deal will seek to support the growth of the NWHL and increase visibility of girls’ and women’s hockey across New Jersey.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Riveters will adopt the Devils’ home colours, and will share the NHL side’s arena, the Prudential Center, as well as their practice facility and training areas.
In addition, the Devils will be supporting the NWHL team in sponsorship, sales and marketing, including cross-promotion across digital and social channels and game broadcasts, as well as collaborating on events to support local girls’ hockey programmes.
As part of the alliance, the two teams will hold a crossover event on 28th October at the Prudential Center, where season-ticket holders for both franchises will be able to watch the men’s and the women’s games as the Devils host the Arizona Coyotes and the Riveters launch their 2017/18 season against the Boston Pride, which will be the first NWHL game to be played in an NHL arena.
The partnership comes at an important time for the NWHL, which was launched in 2015 as the first professional US women’s hockey league, but faced difficulties after wages were cut in November 2016. The league reached a deal with Twitter in June to allow the digital platform to live stream nine games of the 2017/18 season.
“The partnership between Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment and NWHL’s Riveters presented itself as an extraordinary opportunity to support youth and women’s professional ice hockey at the Prudential Center,” said Hugh Weber, president of the Devils’ parent company, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE). “We are confident that New Jersey Devils fans and those supporting the development of young women in athletics are as proud as we are for the Metropolitan Riveters to call the Prudential Center home. Under the continued leadership and guidance of HBSE Founders, Josh Harris and David Blitzer, we will continue to champion innovative partnerships that promote youth hockey in the Tri-State area.”
“The New Jersey Devils and HBSE have shown their commitment to women’s hockey in the metropolitan area in a very big way,” said Dani Rylan, NWHL commissioner. “The Devils being the first NHL franchise to support the NWHL in such a big way hopefully shows other NHL teams what can be done - not just in current NWHL markets but beyond where we are now. We are grateful to begin this long-term collaboration with them and are confident that together we will grow the game.”