Feb 22, 2011, 1:11 PM EDT
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.
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