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NHL Signs Mammoth Seven-Year Sponsorship Deal With MillerCoors

Coors deal marks NHL's most lucrative sponsorship ever
The NHL has signed MillerCoors in the U.S. and Molson Coors in Canada as its newest corporate sponsor in a mammoth seven-year deal across North America that is the league’s most financially lucrative sponsorship ever. With the deal, MillerCoors replaces Anheuser-Busch, which had held U.S. NHL league sponsorship rights since '94, and A-B-owned Labatt, the NHL's Canadian beer sponsor since '98. MillerCoors has committed to spending $375M over the next seven years through an estimated $100M in rights fees, $100M in activation expenditures, another $100M in media buys with league rights holders and various club spending obligations. The deal, set to be announced today, is effective July 1.

"Hockey is a sport that's extremely strong with our customers in the Northeast and Midwest and overall we see this as a bet on the future of the NHL," said MillerCoors CMO Andy England. "NHL fans are the biggest consumers of beer among fans of any major league sport, so it's just a nice match for us." England added that Molson Canadian's "heritage" positioning and Coors Light's message of "Cold Refreshment" are also nice creative matches for the NHL.

With the NHL seeking a new TV deal, a major new beer contract is a nice start. "You have to admire what Coors did with its NFL rights as far as activation," said NHL COO John Collins. "Filling an important category like this is a nice part of any TV deal and we are as well positioned as a sport and a business as we ever have been."

See today's issue of THE DAILY for more.
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