NHL/Molson Coors to Appeal Record Sponsor Jeopardising Ruling

June 7, 2011

Following an Ontario court ruling backing Labatt’s claims that the National Hockey League (NHL) had reneged on a deal with its former sponsor, Molson Coors Canada and the league have both pledged to appeal the decision which could jeopardise a record sponsorship deal between the two parties.

The Denver-based brewer confirmed that it saw the ruling made late last week as a ‘surprise’ but insisted it is still committed to the seven-year deal agreed in February, thought to be worth close to US$400m.

Molson Coors president and CEO Dave Perkson said the company was disappointed with Judge Frank Newbould’s ruling “given we entered into negotiations with the NHL in good faith”.

Perkson’s statement, released yesterday, June 6, added: “While Friday’s ruling was an unfortunate surprise, we remain committed to doing all we can to keep this sponsorship agreement in place with the NHL.” Perkson said the NHL’s commitment to ice hockey “remains unwavering regardless of the outcome of this situation”.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly also claimed that the League disagreed with the court’s decision and pledged to “pursue an appeal of the ruling on an expedited basis”.