Diageo Named As NFL's First Spirits Sponsor

Kimberly Redmond  |

Image source: Diageo

The National Football League (NFL) has named Diageo plc (NYSE: DEO) as its first official spirits sponsor under a multiyear partnership announced Wednesday. 

Financial terms and length of the deal were not disclosed in the announcement. 

The partnership kicks off for the 2022 season and will spotlight Diageo’s brands, including Smirnoff Vodka, Crown Royal Whisky and Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum. Diageo’s Guinness beer is not part of the deal.

In addition to displaying its brands’ logos and TV advertisements to millions of football fans, Diageo also has plans to tout its NFL partnership in liquor stores, market its responsible drinking message and sponsor the NFL’s annual Fan of the Year contest this year.

Prior to the sponsorship agreement, Diageo had 12 NFL team and stadium deals, making Wednesday’s announcement “a natural progression” of its marketing around the league, the distiller said.

In a statement, Ed Pilkington, Diageo North America’s chief marketing officer, said, “This is a perfect match. We are energized about bringing new and exciting programs and experiences to the NFL's passionate adult fan base, while continuing to use our platform to champion social responsibility in every way."

CNBC noted that the NFL has long had relationships with beer brands like Anheuser-Busch, but was slower to embrace spirits. Until 2017, distillers were not permitted to advertise during games. 

Following the league’s change in advertising policies, Diageo’s Crown Royal brand was the first spirits brand to run a commercial during a televised NFL game. 

Diageo was also the first industry sponsor of NASCAR, which lifted its ban on spirits partnerships in 2004, CNBC reported.

On Wednesday, Renie Anderson, NFL chief revenue officer, said in a statement, "We're thrilled to welcome Diageo, a global leader in the spirits industry, to the NFL family as our first ever spirits sponsor. We look forward to working with Diageo on innovative programs to elevate their business, as well as furthering the important message around responsible drinking."

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Source: Equities News

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