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Volume 26 No. 227
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Sources: A-B InBev Returning To NHL As Official Beer Sponsor

A-B InBev is expected to return to the NHL as an official sponsor, according to multiple sources, with an announcement potentially coming as early as this week. The multiyear sponsorship will see A-B have beer rights in the U.S. and Canada, but without any hard seltzer rights. A-B previously held a U.S. NHL league-level sponsorship from the mid-'90s to '11. The league in February '11 reached a seven-year deal with MillerCoors in the U.S. and Molson Coors in Canada. This season's NHL All-Star Game will be played in St. Louis, where A-B is headquartered. A-B's re-entry would come in the wake of the NHL prior to the season announcing a new five-year, non-exclusive U.S. beer sponsorship with the Boston Beer Company, which also makes Truly Hard Seltzer. Around the time of that announcement, NHL Chief Business Officer & Exec VP Keith Wachtel said the league would be limiting opportunities in the hard seltzer category given that Truly had the "most expansive set of rights." Wachtel added that the NHL was looking at a "unique framework for non-exclusive partnerships" for the beer category, which included expiring deals with Molson Coors and MillerCoors.