Miller Lite Official Beer of NHL Telecasts

The new seven-year deal enables Miller and Molson brands to be integrated in NHL TV telecasts.

TORONTO -- Canada’s beer wars have come to the National Hockey League.

The pro hockey league on Tuesday unveiled a seven-year deal with Molson Coors in Canada and MillerCoors in the U.S. to enable the North American brewer to become the “official beer of the NHL,” starting in the 2011-12.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but is reportedly valued at around $375 million, the Canadian Press newswire service said Tuesday.  

The exclusive sponsorship deal with Molson leaves Canadian rival Labatt Breweries, part of Anheuser-Busch InBev, out in the cold after it failed to renew its sponsorship deal with the NHL for the Labatt Blue and Bud Light brands to 2014.

Besides becoming the beer sponsor for the NHL, Molson will see its brands emblazoned over high-profile NHL events, including NHL Face-Off, NHL Winter Classic, NHL Heritage Classic and the NHL All-Star Game.

Molson Canadian is already the official beer sponsor for a host of NHL teams in North America.

“This partnership with Molson Coors and MillerCoors will be groundbreaking for the NHL and our fans,” John Collins, NHL COO said Tuesday.

“The combination of unprecedented support of our clubs and TV rights-holders with activation across the NHL’s comprehensive portfolio of marketing and media assets will create great opportunities for both brands,” he added.

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