Move over Bud Light, there’s a new Official Beer of the NHL and its name is Molson Canadian. The NHL announced an agreement with Molson Coors in Canada and MillerCoors in the United States that will make Molson Canadian the beer of choice in NHL venues.


NEW YORK ─ The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced a major agreement with brewers Molson Coors (NYSE: TAP) in Canada and MillerCoors in the U.S., awarding flagship brand Molson Canadian exclusive League rights in the beer sponsorship category, including the rights to the Official Beer of the NHL® designation, beginning with the 2011-12 NHL season. The deal will span seven years.

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.

Anheuser-Busch Inc. previously held the distinction of brewing the NHL’s preferred beer with Bud Light being the Official Beer of the NHL since 1998. Molson Coors/MillerCoors will take over NHL arenas next season, with the partnership obviously stretching to cover advertising rights for the league’s signature events and other branding opportunities:

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 Network™, NHL Mobile™ and NHL Social. Molson Canadian is currently the Official Beer sponsor of many NHL teams in Canada and the U.S.

For Andy England, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer at MillerCoors – the partnership was an obvious one: “Molson Canadian has a long history of supporting hockey at all levels and will use this platform to build momentum in the States, especially in its core markets where hockey already has a stronghold with fans”. We’re hoping that sponsorship leads to more practice jerseys like the one Lanny McDonald is sporting here.