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NFL announces new sponsorship with league’s official hard liquor partner

NJ.com logo NJ.com 6/16/2021 Mike Rosenstein, nj.com

The NFL is all in when it comes to cashing in on social vices.

In April, the league announced its first-ever U.S. sportsbook partnerships as Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings and FanDuel reached agreements to become Official Sports Betting Partners of the NFL.

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On Wednesday, the NFL announced its first ever Official Spirits Sponsor, partnering with Diageo. Per NFL PR:

For years, Crown Royal Canadian Whisky has had a significant footprint with the NFL, and this sponsorship takes it to the next level for Diageo. Featuring some of the biggest spirits brands in the world in Smirnoff Vodka, Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, and Crown Royal Whisky, this collaboration will include Responsible Drinking programs, integration into marquee events (such as NFL Honors) and, starting with the 2022 season, involvement in the NFL International Series games in London.

Diageo’s role as the first ever Official Spirits Sponsor of the NFL is just the latest example of the company breaking ground in sports and entertainment. In 2017, Crown Royal became the first spirits brand to advertise during a televised NFL game with its “Water Break” Responsible Drinking campaign encouraging moderation.

Currently, Diageo has 12 NFL team and stadium deals, making today’s announcement a natural progression in further unifying the two organizations.

While the league traditionally hedged from partnering with hard liquor brands in the past, it’s had no problem tying itself to the hip of breweries over the years.

According to Fortune, Bud Light has been the official beer of the NFL since 2011. ESPN reports Coors Light was the league’s beer partner from 2002 to 2010. Before that, it was Bud Light from 1990 to 2001.

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Mike Rosenstein may be reached at mrosenstein@njadvancemedia.com. Tell us your coronavirus story or send a tip here.

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