Budweiser signs multi-season agreement with NHLPA

The deal will allow the beer brand to leverage the organization's trademarks, as well as NHL players, in its traditional and experiential activations.

Budweiser announced yesterday that it has deepened its commitment to hockey by signing a multi-season agreement with the NHLPA, the organization representing the NHL’s players.

While the beer brand was unwilling to share how long the deal will last, Jonathan Ritter, manager of media, sports and entertainment marketing, Labatt Breweries of Canada, tells MiC that the new agreement will allow Budweiser to use the NHLPA’s trademarks, as well as leverage NHL players for both traditional advertising and experiential executions.

He says the new deal will help Budweiser reach hockey fans from LDA to 34, and adds that it will build on the brand’s existing activations, which include partnerships with the Vancouver Canucks, the Calgary Flames and the Winnipeg Jets, as well as a sponsorship deal with Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada.

To coincide with the partnership, Budweiser launched a one-off TV spot with media by UM and creative by Anomaly’s Toronto office, which featured L.A. Kings defenceman Drew Doughty and aired during Coach’s Corner over the weekend.

Ritter says that Budweiser will look to roll out additional one-off content during the rest of the NHL season, and over the summer as the next NHL season approaches. He adds that the spots will also prominently feature the Red Light, and act as an extension of that campaign.

Ritter says the new deal with the NHLPA is all about making hockey and its players more fun and accessible for fans. He says now was an ideal time for the partnership because excitement around hockey is at its peak during the Stanley Cup finals.