Big brewers are getting more leery of pricey stadium sponsorship agreements and Constellation stepping in with smaller deals to become import sponsor. Constellation inked 3-yr 7-figure deal with Chicago White Sox for Modelo Especial, reported Chi Tribune. (INSIGHTS hears it’s $1.5 mil per yr.) That’s after MC and White Sox couldn’t come to agreement on renewing sponsorship, which Crain’s pegged at $7-10 mil per yr. (INSIGHTS heard $8 mil for old deal; White Sox wanted more this time). Way this played out seems similar to what happened at Barclay’s in NY, where AB reportedly walked away from full bore deal, and Constellation became import and craft sponsor there.
Miller Brewing had sponsorship deal with White Sox for 30 yrs. “Gone will be the prevalent Miller Lite signage that has dotted the ballpark for decades, replaced by the gold and blue imagery associated with Modelo,” wrote Crain’s. Constellation will also have a Casa Modelo bar on the left field concourse. Modelo Especial is #2 beer brand in Chicago IRI.
MillerCoors is #1 brewer in Chicago, and Miller Lite the #1 brand. But now “its only official stake” in hometown Chi sports teams will be with Chicago Bears, notes Crain’s. MC clearly choosing to spend its mktg $$ elsewhere. MC reportedly bids less aggressively when sponsorships come up, plugged in source told us awhile ago. Recall, it also lost sponsorship of Washington Nationals. Yet MC still sponsors 13 sports teams nationwide and sez it would welcome doing biz again with White Sox in future. White Sox deal announced at Constellation’s Gold Network Summit without detail (INSIGHTS reported then), but Chi media all over it now.