Molson taps exclusive NHL beer sponsorship

Molson Canadian bolsters its hockey positioning with the league-wide deal.

Molson Canadian, already a hockey-ified brand in Canada, increased its presence in the game today with the announcement that Molson Coors and Miller Coors have signed a league-wide deal with the NHL for exclusive beer sponsorship.

The seven-year deal extends to both sides of the border starting in the 2011-2012 season. Molson Canadian will be the ‘lead brand’ in both countries, according to a release, and includes rights to the ‘Official Beer of the NHL’ designation. Coors Light will also share a portion of the sponsorship assets.

The ‘Official Beer’ designation extends to special NHL events, such as the NHL Heritage Classic in Canada and the NHL Winter Classic in the US, as well as consumer promotions around the Stanley Cup and to the league’s media and social properties, such as

‘Molson Canadian is synonymous with the game of hockey and was the brand that helped build the tradition of ‘Hockey Night’ across Canada,’ Dave Perkins, president and CEO, Molson Coors Canada, said in a release. ‘Partnering with the NHL reinforces Molson Canadian’s ‘Made from Canada’ brand position, and also reflects our company’s desire to help Canadians connect over shared passions and great beer.’

The sponsorship was arranged directly between Molson Coors and the NHL in Canada and Genesco Sports Enterprises in the US.