NHL, Molson appeal ruling against sponsorship deal
By Josh Rubin Staff Reporter Published On Thu Jul 7 2011
As lawyers for the NHL and Molson-Coors appealed a ruling which tossed out their $375-million North American sponsorship deal, just what’s at stake became clear in a Toronto courtroom Thursday.
Last month, Ontario Superior Court judge Frank Neubold rejected the largest sponsorship deal in NHL history, saying the league had already sold Canadian rights to the company’s archrival Labatt.
During a hearing at the Ontario Court of Appeal Thursday, lawyers acting for the league, Molson-Coors and Labatt revealed that Labatt’s deal with the NHL was for a relatively-paltry $36 million, spread over three years. A Labatt source later told the Star that the contract’s total value was actually closer to $75 million, a figure which still puts it well below the Molson-Coors deal.
A lawyer for Molson-Coors wouldn’t say in court how much the company’s deal with the NHL was worth, but it was widely reported at the time it was announced in February that it was worth $375 million.