Budweiser signs multi-year joint agreement

BC Place, BC Lions, and Whitecaps FC partner with Budweiser

VANCOUVER, BC - Labatt Breweries of Canada has announced the signing of a unique five-year partnership agreement for its Budweiser brand with British Columbia’s largest event facility, BC Place, and its two major tenants – the BC Lions Football Club and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

The agreement announced at a joint news conference in Vancouver, includes supply rights for BC Place. Budweiser will also be the Official Beer of both Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and the BC Lions, and will have access to team logos and branding, and exclusive rights to media and signage for both teams.

The four partners will also be able to coordinate their efforts in reaching out and connecting with sports fans across British Columbia, to provide the best-possible guest experience when BC Place reopens. 

“We’re thrilled to announce this partnership,” said Blaine Kulak, Western Canadian Customer Marketing Manager, Labatt Breweries of Canada. “Budweiser is ‘the King of Beers’, the best-selling beer in BC, and a long-time supporter of all sports. Budweiser has been a supporter of football in Canada for more than 20 years, working with both the NFL and CFL. Budweiser is also a long-time supporter of soccer around the world. Most recently, Budweiser was a sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, an event we will sponsor again in 2014.

“There is tremendous enthusiasm for sports right across the province, and it’s very exciting for Budweiser to be able to tap into that. Budweiser is strongly committed to BC. We’re excited to be able to leverage that commitment and the popularity of our brand in this province with these teams and this incredible venue.”

“With the new atmosphere that will be created by the new retractable roof at BC Place, and a host of new events that can now be booked by BC Place for the first time, we know the new BC Place will be British Columbia’s hub of downtown excitement for football, soccer, consumer shows, concerts, and our many other community events.” said Howard Crosley, General Manager of BC Place.

“Like BC Place, Budweiser, the Lions, and the Whitecaps all share a common interest in enhancing the guest experience, and this agreement will ensure that we do just that.”

For the BC Lions Football Club, Labatt Breweries of Canada becomes the organization’s fifth premier partner under the five-year deal signed today.  Budweiser will have exclusive rights to the club’s media backdrop among a number of sponsorship activation components.

“Without a doubt, no brand says football like Budweiser,” said BC Lions president and CEO, Dennis Skulsky. “This is a great day for our organization as we welcome the most prestigious brewery partner in our club’s long and proud history. Having the number one market-share product make a long-term commitment to the BC Lions also speaks to the strength of our brand.

“Creating the very best experience for our fans on game days is the number one priority of our organization and with Budweiser recognized throughout North America for their outstanding marketing and fan activation programs, this is a big day for our Lions supporters too.”

In addition to being featured on the club’s media backdrop and their designation as the Official Beer of the BC Lions, football fans will see the Budweiser brand throughout the concourses at BC Place on game nights, as well as in the stands with the newly-created Bud Zone which will engage fans with in-game promotions.

Budweiser will also be the presenting sponsor of the Lions’ Preferred Pub program and will include numerous promotions in conjunction with the Lions via social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

For Whitecaps FC, this is the fourth major partner announcement by the Major League Soccer club. Budweiser follows Premier Founding Partner Bell and fellow Founding Partners BMO and
EA Sports as the club’s most visible and integrated partners. Budweiser will have a number of sponsorship activation components including the presenting sponsor of the Whitecaps FC Preferred Pub program and the post-game 'Man of the Match' award following each Whitecaps FC home game.

In addition, as the Official Beer of Whitecaps FC, soccer fans will see the Budweiser brand throughout the concourses at BC Place on match days, as well as in the stands with the newly-created Bud Zone which will engage fans with in-game promotions.

"We are delighted to be part of this historic partnership with one of the world’s biggest and most-loved brands," said Whitecaps FC chief executive officer Paul Barber. "Budweiser's support for soccer at all levels - from the FIFA World Cup down to local leagues - makes this the perfect partnership for our club, as we begin a new era as a Major League Soccer club.

“As a leader in fan and consumer engagement, Budweiser will help enhance the brand of our club and MLS in a variety of ways, from our club's Preferred Pub program to the creation of fan centres, which will provide our supporters a great space from which to experience Whitecaps FC away matches.”

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About Budweiser

Budweiser has been the King of Beers since 1876, and is brewed naturally using only the finest ingredients, without any artificial ingredients, additives or preservatives. Budweiser is distinguished by its clean, crisp, distinctive flavour, the result of a unique beechwood aging process. Budweiser has been brewed in Canada for over 30 years. www.budweiser.ca or www.facebook.com/budweisercanada

About BC Place

BC Place is the largest sports, exhibition and entertainment venue of its kind in British Columbia, hosting the province’s most notable events including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. BC Place is undergoing a major revitalization that includes the installation of the largest cable-supported retractable roof of its kind in the world. Upon re-opening in the fall of 2011, BC Place will be the new home for the Vancouver Whitecaps MLS franchise, will continue to be home to the BC Lions Football Club and the BC Sports Hall of Fame, and will host the CFL Grey Cup in 2011, the 2011 Vanier Cup, plus many other exhibitions, and community and entertainment events. For more information, please visit www.bcplace.com

About BC Lions Football Club

Over the past 58 seasons, the BC Lions Football Club has been British Columbia’s most successful professional sports organization with five Grey Cup titles to their credit; 1964, 1985, 1994, 2000 and 2006. Drawing on pride, decades of tradition, passion and a spirit of excellence, the BC Lions Football Club seeks to touch the lives of our community in a positive way and is dedicated to serving partners, sponsors, and fans. www.bclions.com.

About Vancouver Whitecaps FC
In 1974, Vancouver Whitecaps FC played their inaugural season in the North American Soccer League, and in 1979, the club won the NASL Soccer Bowl championship. From 1987 to 1992, as a member of the Canadian Soccer League, Vancouver won four straight CSL titles. In 2002, Whitecaps FC created a full club model that encompasses professional teams for men and women, extensive youth development and grassroots participation programs, facility development, and the Whitecaps Foundation to support specific initiatives related to health and wellness through soccer. Since 2004, Whitecaps FC have won two United Soccer Leagues First Division championships and two USL W-League championships. This year, Whitecaps FC will begin their inaugural season in Major League Soccer at Empire Field before moving into the new BC Place Stadium in downtown Vancouver. For additional information on Vancouver Whitecaps FC, visit www.whitecapsfc.com.