Molson Coors returns to Super Bowl after over 30 years hiatus
Molson Golden and Coors Light beer bottles at the Asylum Bar in New York.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Molson Coors Beverage will return to the Super Bowl next year, making its first major game appearance in over 30 years.
The move comes after archrival Anheuser-Busch InBev announced in June that it was ending a 33-year agreement with the NFL that made it the exclusive alcohol advertiser during the Super Bowl. The company still plans to run ads during the game this year.
Since 1989, AB InBev’s deal with the NFL has closed access to other brewers. The owner of Bud Light chose to advertise every year except for 2021, when instead he spent marketing dollars to raise awareness of the Covid vaccine. His commercials made Budweiser Clydesdale horses iconic, introduced the world to “Whassup?” and even sparked a lawsuit from MillerCoors in 2019.
“The minute we found out that exclusivity was no longer valid and we had a chance, we thought, ‘Yes, we’re in the game, the game is on,’” said Michelle Saint-Jacques, director of marketing at Molson Coors.
The company plans to run only one 30-second video during the game. But Saint-Jacques said Molson Coors is committed to making memorable ads that cut through the noise.
The Super Bowl will provide the company with a national stage to showcase its transformation. Molson Coors has expanded its offerings beyond beer, adding hard seltzer, whiskey and energy drinks to its portfolio. In 2021, the company recorded annual sales growth for the first time in more than a decade.
“Over the past three years, we have changed a lot, not only the name of our company from Brewing to Beverage, but also our approach to marketing and branding in general,” said Saint-Jacques. .
For example, the company sought to highlight two of its light beers: Miller Lite and Coors Light.
On the sidelines of past Super Bowls, Molson Coors tried to make a splash. Past marketing campaigns have trolled AB InBev brands, for example, urging consumers to enter the world’s longest URL to burn the one-calorie difference between Miller Lite and Michelob Ultra. For this year’s Super Bowl, Miller Light opened a bar in the metaverse, spreading the word through social media.
With the end of AB InBev’s monopoly, other spirits companies such as Heineken and Diageo, the NFL’s official spirits sponsor, will also have the opportunity to advertise their drinks live during the big game.
In 2022, Super Bowl ads cost over $7 million for a 30-second spot during a game. Advertisers are ready to shell out big money for the opportunity to sell their products to a huge game audience. The NFL said 208 million people watched the championship game this year.
AB InBev isn’t the only beverage giant to end its exclusive deal with the NFL. In May, PepsiCo announced that it would no longer be sponsoring hiatus shows after a ten-year hiatus. No new sponsor has been announced.