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NFL drinks to lucrative Bud Light extension

The NFL American football league has agreed a six-year extension to its partnership with brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, in an agreement involving its Bud Light beer brand.

The new contract is believed to be worth in excess of $1.4bn (€1.28bn) and will run until the 2022 Super Bowl. The two parties’ existing sponsorship deal was due to expire after the 2016 edition of the NFL’s championship game.

As part of the new agreement, Bud Light will become the first sponsor permitted to use NFL highlights clips on its online platforms. In addition, Bud Light ‘Player of the Game’ and ‘Play of the Day’ initiatives will be introduced, while the brand will also be promoted at the NFL Draft and NFL Kickoff events.

The deal comes at an important time for Bud Light, whose consumption levels have declined in recent years. Lucas Herscovici, vice-president of consumer connections at Anheuser-Busch, believes the new deal can help restore Bud Light’s fortunes.

“We’ve done the math and wouldn’t be renewing this sponsorship if we didn’t believe this would allow us to sell more beer,” he told the Wall Street Journal newspaper. “This was a very intense process and negotiation with our partners at the NFL.

“If we didn’t achieve the incremental assets and content we needed to hit our business objectives of ultimately selling more beer, we would have made the decision not to pursue it.”