Labatt (Who brews Budweiser in Canada) Vs. Molson, are locked in a different playoff situation. Last fall, Molson inked a deal with the National Hockey League making it the official beer of the league. That’s makes it difficult for Labatt to market to the NHL fans in Canada. So the brewery has been finding other ways to do so, without using the NHL name. Remember the “Flash Fans” video that Labatt/Bud did earlier in the year? From most people’s perspective, it was pretty cool commercial highlighting the sport. In real life, they were accused of exploiting people, because they used non union labor for the crowd people. (Seriously???)
Enter new promotion: The “Playoff Payoff.” The winner receives hockey tickets for life. The winner chooses tickets to the Canadian team of their choice. Pretty cool right? Wrong. Apparently by running such a promotion, Labatt is either explicitly or implicitly tying themselves to the NHL. Lawyers say no, not yet. The winner COULD choose minor league teams too. No where does it say it has to be NHL. Until they do, there is no legal tie.
The NHL had to issue this statement is response:
You may have heard about a contest that is currently being run in Canada promoting the chance to win “hockey tickets for life” to a Canadian hockey team’s games. We want our fans to know that the NHL has no affiliation with that promotion, and we can offer no assurances to our fans that the desired tickets will be available to the winner.
To sum it up. Labatt takes Molson & the NHL to court over the sponsorship deal. Labatt/Bud make fan commercial. Canadian labor union sues Labatt/Bud. Labatt runs ticket con Molson objects. NHL is confused. Hockey playoffs roll on.