Tag: Beer

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Cheers: Appeal court sides with NHL, Molson-Coors on $375M+ sponsorship deal

For a while, it seemed like the NHL and Molson-Coors would suffer a serious hangover after celebrating their “monster” $375 million+ sponsorship deal.

The Ontario Superior Court agreed with rival brewer LaBatt (which is under the Anheuser-Busch umbrella, by the way) that the NHL violated a good faith agreement when it made that agreement with Molson-Coors. The NHL and Molson-Coors decided to appeal the decision and can now sip victory from the legal Stanley Cup today as the Ontario Court of Appeal took their side. Long story short, it means that the $375 million+ deal is back on.

Here is the requisite victory quote/release from Molson-Coors.

“Molson Coors Canada feels vindicated by Ontario Court of Appeal’s ruling today to reinstate our NHL sponsorship and are thrilled to be able to pursue our aspiration of delighting fans of the NHL this season and beyond,” Molson-Coors Canada CEO Dave Perkins said in a statement issued shortly after the ruling was released Tuesday.

Report: NHL, Molson Coors will appeal court ruling in favor of Labatt’s lawsuit

Cuba Gooding Jr.
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Labatt/Anheuser-Busch scored a big victory in court on Friday when the Ontario Superior Court upheld their lawsuit against the NHL for their $375+ million exclusivity deal with Molson Coors. That was a surprising ruling, but the league and rival brewer’s response isn’t expected to shock many. The NHL and Molson Coors are planning to appeal the court’s decision to uphold that lawsuit.

In a way, this court battle is almost Canada’s version of Budweiser vs. Coors, although the dispute obviously extends to the 23* American markets as well.

The NHL cannot really have too many nasty feelings toward Anheuser-Busch, either. Marketing Mag.ca points out that 22 American teams are sponsored by that company, although it is unclear if the ex-Atlanta Thrashers were one of those teams.

Click here for more details of the lawsuit from Friday’s post. We’ll keep our eyes on this legal situation because a huge chunk of the league’s money could be at stake.

* We have to keep in mind that there are seven Canadian teams now, not six. Kinda strange, eh?

NHL agrees to $375M+ deal with Molson Coors/Miller Coors

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Let’s hope that the Miller, Coors and Molson come up with some entertaining – or at least watchable – advertisements during the next seven years, because it’s likely that hockey fans will see a ton of them.

That’s because the NHL reached a huge seven-year deal reportedly worth more than $375 million with Molson Coors/MillerCoors to be the official beer of the league, according to various sources. MillerCoors covers the U.S. end while Molson (not surprisingly) will dominate Canada’s advertising and promotions.

This boozy deal ranks as the largest sponsorship agreement in the NHL’s history, according to the New York Times. The league must feel very good about its gains made during the last few seasons, as this great bit of sponsorship news goes in tandem with  ratings improving for events such as the Winter Classic and All-Star Game.

It is more than twice as much as what the incumbent sponsors, Anheuser-Busch in the United States and Labatt in Canada, which are owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, will have paid through this season. The deal will be announced Tuesday.

“Hockey and beer go together,” said Andy England, the executive vice president and chief marketing officer for MillerCoors. “Hockey fans are big beer drinkers. In fact, we have data that shows hockey fans are the biggest beer drinkers of any major sports league.”

Under the deal, Molson Canadian will be the official beer of the N.H.L. in North America. Coors Light will have sponsorship rights in the two countries.

Molson Coors owns 42 percent of MillerCoors, so it pursued the deal as a North American partnership. An agreement was reached soon after the Jan. 30 All-Star Game.