Jan 4, 2011
The sponsorship agreement ensures that Budweiser, brewed by Anheuser-Busch, will continue to be the official beer of Major League Baseball. A-B has sponsored baseball for more than 30 years, and is currently the official beer for 26 of the league’s 30 teams.
“Major League Baseball has always been a top priority for our Budweiser brand and is important to our plans,” said Mark Wright, vice president of media, sports and entertainment marketing for Anheuser-Busch, in a statement Thursday. “We value our long-term relationship with the league and are happy to have resolved this issue.” (via Wall Street Journal)
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
As for the lawsuit? One could argue that it all stems from an NFL decision in May to choose A-B’s Bud Light brand over Coors Light as the official beer sponsor of the NFL. That deal was reportedly valued at $1.2 billion over six years. Major League Baseball, which had already signed a letter of intent (or contract, depending on your point of view) in April, sued A-B in November of last year, claiming the terms of the renewal were unsatisfactory due to changes in market conditions (read as: The NFL is receiving a lot more money for their sponsorship deal, and we don’t want this deal unless we are the most important A-B sponsor). That led to a lawsuit being filed by A-B in New York federal court, claiming a breach of contract on the part of Major League Baseball.
Major League Baseball dropped the suit, after both sides agreed on the new sponsorship deal.