Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Labatt Challenge & The NHL

As reported yesterday, Labatt may challenge the NHL's decision to go with Molson as the exclusive provider of beer in its rinks.

Labatt issued this statement:

Labatt has been the official beer sponsor of the NHL in Canada for more than a decade and we began sponsorship renewal negotiations with the league several months ago to secure sponsorship rights. These negotiations with the NHL proceeded positively and in good faith to the point where the parties had agreed upon the terms of renewal of a sponsorship agreement until 2014. Nothing has happened to change that situation.”

Based upon the statement, Labatt may be taking the position that the sides agreed on the terms of a renewal of the contract. However, without knowing what was required to renew the contract as per the original contract, or the nature of the negotiations between Labatt and the NHL, it is hard to know how this will be resolved. This information is obviously not available.

The NHL and Bill Daly have issued their own statement, disagreeing with Labatt's position: "...we strongly disagree with their assertion that an agreement was in place for the 2011-2012 NHL season. We have no further comment at this time.”

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