Don Jeffrey at Bloomberg.com (via Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk) reports that MillerCoors LLC has filed a lawsuit against the New England Patriots alleging that the team reneged on an exclusive sponsorship contract, and instead, has pursued a more lucrative agreement with Anheuser-Busch InBev NV.
Here’s an except of Jeffrey’s article:
“We negotiated in good faith with the New England Patriots for several months, at their invitation, to become their exclusive and official beer partner after several years of a shared deal,” Pete Marino, a MillerCoors spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. “Regrettably the team has now reneged on the deal that was reached, and we are left with no choice but to take legal action and ask the courts to uphold the integrity of our binding legal agreement.”
MillerCoors has been an official beer sponsor of the National Football League team for almost 10 years, according to the complaint. The current sponsorship deal expires in February.
It is important to note that MillerCoors has merely made allegations against the Patriots, and that the team has not had the opportunity to respond.
Although most civil cases result in a settlement, the Patriots have been willing to litigate. In 2008, the team prevailed in a breach of contract case against a season ticket holder in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Stay tuned for more on this case as it develops.