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

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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 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?