Michelob Ultra named official beer of NBA Canada

Labatt adds to its sponsorship roster with an alignment to the brand's focus on being active and having fun.
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Labatt Breweries of Canada has struck a new partnership with the NBA to make Michelob Ultra the league’s official beer in Canada.

The new exclusive deal extends a broader partnership between parent company Anheuser Busch and the NBA that began in the U.S. last season into the Canadian market.

This is also the first time NBA Canada has named a new beer partner since 2015, when it struck a partnership with Miller Genuine Draft, then owned by SAB Miller Canada (now part of Molson Coors Canada).

Signing on with the NBA gives Labatt its second league-level sponsorship in Canada, having taken over sponsorship rights for the NHL two years ago, which largely lives under the Budweiser brand. Mike Bascom, senior marketing director for Michelob Ultra in Canada, says the partnership with the NBA aligns with the brand’s commitment to living an active and fun lifestyle.

“Basketball lives at the intersection of athletics, culture and entertainment, and we’re excited to bring our fit and fun spin to basketball fans across the country,” he says.

The partnership has already been activated, with the brand working with shooting coach Chris Matthews on a video showing him taking shots on a court on top of one of Toronto’s tallest buildings, the Scotia Plaza. The video is part of the broader “#GetBuckets” campaign by agency Anomaly, which includes out-of-home placements across Canada that turn billboards into backboards for basketball hoops. It also features a fan contest, encouraging Canadians to share their own creative shots on social media, with the chance to win NBA-branded gear.