New Deals with ESPN and Five NFL Teams Reinforce Brewer’s Long-Standing Commitment to Pro Football and Its Fans
MILWAUKEE, Aug. 22 /PRNewswire/ — Miller Brewing Company announced today that it has signed national and local sponsorship deals that will play key roles in Miller Lite’s 2007 football promotion. Nationally, the brewer will team with ESPN for a powerful, season-long venture that will be activated through an integrated marketing program. At a local level, alliances with the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings provide Miller with the opportunity to connect even more closely with football fans in these markets.
Miller Lite, the Milwaukee brewer’s best-selling brand and the only light beer to win four gold medals in the bi-annual World Beer Cup’s American-style Light Lager category, will be the primary brand featured in each of these alliances. Miller Lite’s 2007 football program, “Beer That’s Made to Be Great Makes Gameday Better,” kicked off earlier this month.
The national deal with ESPN encompasses all of the various ESPN assets, including presenting sponsorship of the 6 p.m. (Eastern) SportsCenter Monday Kickoff; a Tuesday “Good Call, Bad Call” feature on SportsCenter; features during ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning”; the presenting sponsorship of Pigskin Pick ’em on ESPN.com; sponsorship of the 2 Minute Drill in the Friday 1 a.m. (Eastern) SportsCenter; and presence throughout NFL-related programming on the ESPN television networks, including ESPN Deportes.
ESPN logos will be featured on Miller Lite’s fall point-of-sale and merchandising materials, as well as special promotional packaging. Twelve-pack Fridge Packs and special 24-ounce cans will call out the ESPN association.
“Fall is one of the most competitive times of the year in our business,” said Jackie Woodward, Miller’s vice president of media and marketing services, “and this fully integrated alliance with ESPN gives us all the tools we need to ensure that Miller Lite stands apart from the competition, from the first pre-season game until the final whistle of the big game in February. Miller Lite will be prominent across the ESPN properties when football fans are most focused on the games, from Friday morning until Monday night.”
Ed Erhardt, president of ESPN customer marketing and sales, added: “We value our relationship with leading brands like Miller Lite. Teaming up to create such a fully integrated marketing program exemplifies how to best utilize the ESPN portfolio as a marketing vehicle to boost brand affinity with sports fans.”
Miller will build on its ESPN football foundation with team alliances in several key markets. The company recently inked local sponsorships with five teams. Each of these deals is a renewal for Miller; details on each sponsorship include:
— Atlanta Falcons — Through a five-year deal, Miller will have rights to
use the team’s marks in promotional programs, including retail point of
sale materials. Miller has been an official sponsor of the Falcons
since 2002. Additionally, through a deal with the Georgia Dome, Miller
will be the exclusive domestic malt beverage sponsor in the stadium,
where the company will create a new Miller Lite ATL Lounge. Able to
accommodate up to 80 people, the Miller Lite ATL Lounge will be used
for local radio and retail promotions.
— Baltimore Ravens — The highlight of Miller’s new five-year partnership
with the Ravens will be the creation of two Miller Lite Flight Decks at
M&T Bank Stadium. The two 50-person capacity Miller Lite Flight Decks
will be the centerpiece of Miller’s local promotional efforts. Miller
Lite also will continue as sponsor of the popular Countdown to Kickoff
Party, which culminates in a season kick-off celebration at the
stadium. Miller has been an official sponsor of the Ravens since 2002.
— Cincinnati Bengals — A four-year alliance provides Miller with the
ability to use the team’s name and logo in promotional activities
throughout southwestern Ohio. Miller has been an official sponsor of
the Bengals since 2002. The deal includes a new 115-person-capacity
Miller Lite Party Deck designed to give winning fans a chance to see
the game and socialize with their friends from this special vantage
point in the stadium. The deal also includes an expanded presence on
the Bengals web site, sponsorship of the Miller Lite Fantasy Draft and
sponsorship of the Miller Lite/Bengals Caravan.
— Kansas City Chiefs — This two-year deal gives Miller full promotional
rights in the local market, as well as a number of assets that will
allow Miller Lite to connect with the fiercely loyal Kansas City Chiefs
fans. These assets include season tickets, flyaway trips to Chiefs’
road games and custom digital and radio-driven promotions. Miller has
been an official sponsor of the Chiefs since 1993.
— Minnesota Vikings — A new five-year agreement keeps Miller Lite as the
exclusive beer sponsor of the Vikings, a status it has enjoyed since
2002. Through its prominent presence across all Vikings events and
extensive local promotional activities during the season, Miller Lite
is established as one of the franchise’s most valued corporate
partners. The deal includes sponsorship of the Miller Lite Party on
the Plaza and the Miller Lite Draft Day Party, as well as the creation
of a new Miller Lite End Zone Party Deck in the stadium.
“Developing strong partnerships with teams in key Miller Lite markets is an important aspect of our strategy for building a fall marketing program that is especially compelling to football fans around the country,” said Woodward. “Whether it’s in the stadium on game day or at the bar during the week leading up to the game, we’ll activate these alliances in ways that make the football experience even better for legal-drinking-age football fans.”
Other teams that Miller partners with are the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Miller, one of the largest corporate sports sponsors in the country, focuses on building alliances that enable the brewer to assert a leadership role with the property while connecting to a specific brand’s marketing objectives. Woodward said deals such as these give Miller the chance to provide memorable and valuable experiences that positively impact the way fans view Miller brands.
About Miller Brewing Company
As one of America’s oldest brewers, Miller Brewing Company continues the commitment of founder Frederick J. Miller to brew “confoundedly good beers” with “uncompromising quality.” Through more than 150 years of innovation and brewing excellence, Miller has built a broad portfolio of award-winning beers that capture approximately 18 percent of the U.S. beer market. In the past decade, Miller beers have won 105 medals — more than twice as many as its major competitors — at the biannual World Beer Cup and annual Great American Beer Fest. An unprecedented four-time gold award winner at the World Beer Cup, Miller Lite is the great tasting, less filling beer that has defined the American light lager category since 1975. Miller’s latest innovation, Miller Chill, is a chelada-style beer brewed with lime and salt, providing a unique twist on refreshment. Miller also brews smooth, golden rich Miller Genuine Draft using a unique cold-filtering process introduced in 1985. The company’s oldest brew is Miller High Life, the champagne of beers. Miller imports Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell, Tyskie and Foster’s, and it offers regional craft brews from the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company and the Blitz- Weinhard Brewing Company. Near-premium beers include Milwaukee’s Best Light, Steel Reserve, Olde English 800, Mickey’s Malt Liquor, Icehouse and Sharp’s, a non-alcohol brew. Miller also offers the Sparks line of caffeinated alcohol beverages. Miller is a wholly owned subsidiary of SABMiller plc, one of the world’s leading brewers with a global footprint spread across five continents. For more information, visit http://www.millerbrewing.com/.