June 6th, 2008

NHL Renewal to Build Bud Light’s Sponsorship Role

By Richard Tedesco
PROMO Magazine

The deal renewing Bud Light’s position as official beer of the National Hockey League will give the brand a bigger sponsorship role in the league’s digital media and cable network.

The new pact with Anheuser-Busch runs through the 2010-11 season and calls for the NHL to develop customized content for Bud Light on the NHL Network Online, the league’s broadband outlet launched during the regular season. Bud Light has been presenting sponsor of “The Hockey Show,” one of the digital network’s seven “channels.”

NHL Productions will create four two-minute vignettes with Bud Light themes for the NHL Network, the league’s cable outlet. Those spots, focusing on NHL historical milestones, will likely run during next season’s playoffs, mirroring the “Journey to the Stanley Cup” series produced for Dodge during this season’s playoffs.

“There’s going to be a greater presence on all of our NHL-controlled assets,” said Keith Wachtel, NHL senior vice president of corporate sales and marketing.

Analysts estimate the value of the new two-year deal with Anheuser-Busch at $75 million.

Bud Light will also be running its first hockey-themed in-store promotions, likely to coincide with next season’s playoffs.

Title sponsorship for the NHL Winter Classic is also a possibility. Amp Energy was the title sponsor for the annual retro outdoor contest last January, but the sponsorship is open for next year’s contest.

Bud Light has been the NHL’s beer sponsor since 1998 and also is a sponsor for 21 of the league’s U.S. teams.

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