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VANOC announces partnership with Molson Coors

‘Canadian’ beer to be on tap for 2010 Games



The Vancouver 2010 Games now have an official brew.

This week, Molson and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games announced that the brewing company had signed on as an official supplier in the $3 million to $15 million category.

“When you think Molson, you think Canada,” said VANOC CEO John Furlong.

“With their rich history and strong support of Canadian sport and athletes, Molson will be an ideal partner for an Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games that will give all Canadians a chance to celebrate.”

While the “I am Canadian” branding for the Molson brew is well known, the company merged with U.S. brewer Coors in 2005 to become Molson Coors.

Molson President and CEO Kevin Boyce, said the partnership with VANOC was a natural fit as it had been involved with the bid to bring the Olympics and Paralympics to Vancouver and is heavily involved in sports across the country.

“For us it is a natural fit,” he said following the press conference Tuesday to announce the sponsorship.

“We have been involved right across Canada in communities and sporting activities, we have a strong association with hockey, people know us from our professional sponsorship but also through Hockey Canada.

“When you look at Vancouver 2010 being Canada’s Games I think there is no better fit than having a brand called Molson Canadian associated with it. We are an active part of the community and I believe that our employees feel we are a major part of Canada and we feel as Canadian as we have ever felt.”

But Molson won’t get to start marketing the partnership until January 2009 thanks to an existing agreement between the International Olympic Committee and Anheuser-Busch, brewer of global giant Budweiser.

Until then Molson marketers will be working furiously to maximize the partnership opportunities for the company.

Boyce didn’t want to speculate on what the marketing might look like but did say a special brew for the Games or commemorative packaging might be in the mix.

“I will say we will have as strong a presence as we can. This is a great opportunity for us,” said Boyce.

What the deal will do for VANOC is help market the 2010 Games across the country, through Molson products.

Molson will also be the official supplier to the Canadian Olympic Committee over the next four years.

So far VANOC has secured some $710 million in revenue commitments from corporate domestic sponsors. Its goal is to reach $760 million.

Molson also has a strong commitment to sustainability, one of VANOC’s criteria for partnership, and in January received a Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation Leadership Award.

Spearheaded by Natural Resources Canada, CIPEC recognizes outstanding accomplishments by Canadian companies in improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Back in 2002, Molson's Montreal brewery installed over 200 meters designed to monitor the consumption of valuable resources such as water, electricity and natural gas.

In 2005, a corporate energy policy was established to reduce energy consumption per hectoliter of beer by 5 per cent annually. The following year, the Montreal brewery had already reduced energy consumption per hectoliter by 5.6 per cent in natural gas, 9.6 per cent in water and 5.9 per cent in electricity. Since 2002, as a result of these initiatives, the brewery has reduced energy consumption by 18 per cent, as well as lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

One Wednesday, VANOC announced that Canwest Publishing Inc., publishers of the Vancouver Sun and Province and several other daily papers across the country, has partnered with the organizing committee.

The sponsorship provides VANOC with greater regional advertising avenues through a value-in-kind allocation of print and online advertising in 10 regional daily papers.

Canwest will receive exclusive rights in the regional newspaper publisher product/service category. The sponsorship is a marketing and advertising partnership independent of Canwest’s editorial coverage.

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