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Devils name Prudential as first helmet sponsor in NHL history

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(Reuters) - The New Jersey Devils have named longtime naming rights partner Prudential Financial as the first helmet ad sponsor in National Hockey League history, the team said on Tuesday.

The agreement between the Devils and the U.S. life insurer is for the coming season which is scheduled to run from Jan. 13 until July. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“For as long as we have called Newark home, Prudential Financial has been with us every step of the way,” New Jersey Devils President Jake Reynolds said in a news release.

“Over a decade later, with our Prudential Center and their headquarters based in our shared home city, Prudential Financial was our first and only call when such a significant opportunity for brand placement and association was made available by the NHL.”

The news comes two weeks after Forbes said COVID-19 took a toll on NHL teams and triggered a drop in the average value of franchises for the first time since 2001 as a chunk of regular season games and the entire post-season was held without fans.

The Devils were valued at $530 million, down 4% from last year, and 15th among the NHL’s 31 teams, according to Forbes.

In 2016, the National Basketball Association became the first major North American sports league to announce plans to put ads on jerseys in a move that opened up a significant new revenue stream.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris