Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment — which owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, among other entities — is committing $20 million to “fighting systemic racism and championing equality,” it announced Monday.
Over the next five years, the organization will give $10 million directly to initiatives in communities its teams touch across the U.S., and another $10 million from the 76ers through the NBA’s recently announced NBA Foundation for Black economic empowerment.
As a whole, the NBA board of governors committed $300 million to the foundation over the next decade.
“As leaders and stewards of community pillars, the eyes of the world are on us to do better, and they should be. While we will never be able to correct the past harm and injustice faced by Black Americans, it’s our duty to provide resources that enable tangible action and greater opportunities for equality,” HBSE founder Josh Harris said in an announcement. “We are committing to a fundamental change in our business strategy by embedding our organization with Black communities and businesses through significant and sustained investment and support. We are deeply committed to fighting for a better, more inclusive future and we pledge to be leaders in doing so.”
Through HBSE Real Estate’s Community Advancement Program, the organization will “advance equitable, community-driven revitalization through significant investments.”
That will include a minimum of $2.5 million donated to organizations and efforts that improve quality of life for residents and further equitable development in Black communities, as well as “consistent capital commitments” into real estate projects that advance those communities.
HBSE will also implement new initiatives to support Black-owned businesses with competitive opportunities and marketing resources. Specifically, the 76ers and Devils will contribute more than $5 million in marketing assets to Black-owned businesses through its new Buy Black Partnership Program.
HBSE will increase expenditure with Black-owned businesses through its new Diversity Procurement Program, which will include partnerships with organizations such as the African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ and DE.
The organization will also commit $2.5 million through the Sixers Youth Foundation and Devils Care Foundation to promote education, health and employment, including free internet access to more than 1,000 School District of Philadelphia families.
HBSE also pledged to hire a chief diversity and impact officer to oversee its internal and external initiatives and will partner with historically Black colleges and universities to connect graduating seniors with career pipelines.
In addition to the Sixers and Devils, HBSE owns stakes in the Pittsburgh Steelers, Crystal Palace FC, the Prudential Center, esports teams Dignitas and 76ers GC, the Delaware Blue Coats, and the Binghamton Devils. The group is also reportedly among the bidders to buy the New York Mets. HBSE founders Harris and David Blitzer are worth about $5 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively, according to Forbes and The New York Post.