Coors, Miller Lite Take The Field For Football Season

At the beginning of August, Molson Coors announced it would be increasing marketing spending $100 million for the latter half of the year on the strength of what President and CEO Gavin Hattersley called “the single best quarter of reported net sales revenue since the merger of Molson and Coors in 2005.”

If you were wondering where they’d be spending that money, the answer appears to be… football. Molson Coors took to the field with large marketing campaigns in support of both Coors Light and Miller Lite for football season -- with new ads, packaging, and partnerships.

While its chief rivals go all-in on the NFL or college football seasons -- with Bud Light relying on its Official NFL Sponsorship and current category market sales leader Modelo Especial focusing on the college game -- Molson Coors is threading the needle, covering both the pro and college circuits between the marketing activations of its two big American light lager brands.



Miller Lite will lean on alliances with 16 NFL teams across advertising and packaging efforts. The brand is also going big on fantasy sports, celebrating its status as lead sponsor of ESPN’s number one fantasy football app on secondary packaging for Miller Lite pints.

It’s a strategic approach to reach a large pool of the most highly engaged fans. Miller Lite is also connecting with fantasy players in real life, hosting fantasy football drafts at bars across the country.

“Fans are engaged in fantasy football seven days a week. Whether they’re setting a lineup, checking stats or ribbing their buddies over text, we want them to have a Miller Lite nearby,” Miller Lite Senior Marketing Manager James Nanney told Molson Coors’ Beer & Beyond blog.

A 15-second broadcast ad airing ahead of the start of the regular season this week is more out of the typical playbook -- celebrating the moments that keep football fans coming back while alluding to the offering's 96 calories as a selling point.

Sister brand Coors Light, meanwhile, is tackling the college game  extending its ESPN College Gameday sponsorship by featuring it on secondary packaging for its 24- and 30-pack offerings for the first time. The brand, which boasts alliances with some 30 college teams, is also kicking off a new “Nothing Like Game Day” program celebrating fans’ game day rituals and offering drinkers a chance to win tailgating kits, hats, jackets, or a Cameo call from ESPN sportscaster and analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

Coors Light is also selling The Chill Throne -- a reclining chair with a tap handle the company claims turns cans of Coors Light into draught, an astroturf footrest, Bluetooth speakers, and a back massager -- for a limited time via a dedicated webpage beginning Sept. 2. Fans who are unable to snag the chair in time – or can’t afford the hefty $750 price tag – will have a chance to win a Chill Throne of their very own via a sweepstakes.

Coors Light will also introduce a new ad some time in the coming months as the college football season heats up.

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