From the New York Times (h/t to Jeff for the link):


The N.H.L. often boasts about improving business measures like higher TV ratings, increased use of its Web site and the success of the annual Winter Classic.

Another area where the league has bettered itself — corporate sponsorships — is receiving a significant boost in a new beer deal with MillerCoors in the United States and Molson Coors in Canada worth nearly $400 million over seven years. It is the biggest corporate sponsorship in N.H.L. history.

It is more than twice as much as what the incumbent sponsors, Anheuser-Busch in the United States and Labatt in Canada, which are owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, will have paid through this season. The deal will be announced Tuesday.

“Hockey and beer go together,” said Andy England, the executive vice president and chief marketing officer for MillerCoors. “Hockey fans are big beer drinkers. In fact, we have data that shows hockey fans are the biggest beer drinkers of any major sports league.

On the other hand, we have absolutely no data. But our mid-day talker asks: Are hockey fans really "the biggest beer drinkers of any major sports league." Because we've seen some baseball, football and soccer fans that can put 'em away with conviction.

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