NHL Brews New Sponsorship Pacts With MillerCoors, Molson Coors

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The National Hockey League has inked a new sponsorship package with MillerCoors in the U.S. and Molson Coors in Canada.
The seven-year pact -- supplanting Anheuser-Busch and its Labatt brand -- awards Molson Canadian exclusive league rights in the beer sponsorship category, notably the official beer of the NHL designation. While Molson Canadian will be the lead brand on the NHL alliance in both nations, Coors Light will share some of the sponsorship assets in the U.S. and Canada. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The agreement, supplanting Anheuser-Busch and its Labatts brand as the league's category sponsorship, is reportedly valued at some $375 million. According to sources, that total includes more than $100 million in media spending on national networks in Canada and U.S., as well as regional sports networks. Versus and NBC, which is currently in its exclusive negotiating window with the NHL, are the exclusive national cable and broadcast networks in the States, will see their NHL contracts expire at the end of the 2010-11 season.

Labatt Breweries of Canada said it may pursue legal action over the NHL's new exclusive sponsorship agreement with Molson Coors in Canada. The brewer, the official beer sponsor of the NHL in Canada for more than a decade, said it had agreed to terms of a new deal with the NHL through 2014.
In addition to becoming the official and exclusive beer sponsor of the NHL, Molson Canadian will gain the same distinction for key league events, including NHL Face-Off, NHL Winter Classic, NHL Heritage Classic, NHL All-Star, as well as the opportunity to offer consumer promotions involving the Stanley Cup. The deal also provides the brand with opportunities to engage fans through NHL media assets NHL.com, NHL Network, NHL Mobile and NHL Social. Molson Canadian is currently the official beer sponsor of many NHL teams in Canada and the U.S.
While Molson Canadian will be the lead brand on the NHL alliance in both countries, Coors Light will share some of the sponsorship assets in the U.S. and Canada.

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