Eric LeGrand, whose football career with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights ended in 2010, after suffering a spinal cord injury, will have his coffee shop advertised on New Jersey Devils' player helmets during road games thanks to the team's program to support Black entrepreneurs.
The Devils announced on Thursday that LeGrand Coffee House of Woodbridge, New Jersey, won the club's Buy Black Partnership for the 2022-23 NHL season. The ad space on the road helmets is donated by Prudential Financial, which will also offer financial wellness counseling to LeGrand. The Devils are working on having LeGrand Coffee House products offered at their home games as well.
The Devils reported that their Buy Black Partnership received more applicants in 2022 than the first two years of the program combined.
"Our selection committee had another extremely difficult choice, but to a person, Eric's story was impactful, powerful and resonated with everyone and we are proud to partner with Prudential Financial to take LeGrand Coffee House to its highest levels of success," said New Jersey Devils & Prudential Center president Jake Reynolds.
LeGrand was injured making a tackle during a Rutgers game and paralyzed from the neck down. He has since regained movement in his shoulders and sensation through his entire body.
Since his injury in 2010, LeGrand transitioned to motivational speaking, philanthropy and entrepreneurship. Team LeGrand has raised over $1 million for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. LeGrand was presented with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 2012 ESPY Awards. He was also inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2017, receiving the Warrior Award.
LeGrand Coffee House opened in May 2022.
The "LeGrand Coffee House'' logo will be displayed on each side of the team's away-game helmets. The brand exposure will mark the first time a winner of the Devils' Buy Black Partnership will be represented throughout the entire slate of road games and take their brand across all the North American cities the Devils visit during the 2022-23 NHL season.