Coors Inks $20 Million Nascar Deal

Laps Bud as Racing League's Official Beer

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Coors Light is in and Budweiser is out as the official beer of Nascar, the auto-racing league announced today.
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Beginning in 2008, the five-year, $20 million deal gives Coors Light exclusive access to Nascar logos in advertising, packaging and promotions, as well as the right to brand the Pole Award, which goes to the fastest-qualifying time in each race.

Picking up ground
Coors Light, the No. 3 light beer, has picked up some sales ground on larger rivals Bud Light and Miller Lite this year, and it hopes the high-profile sponsorship will continue that momentum.

"This partnership allows us to deliver exciting and relevant programs to our distributors and retailers -- all centered around the No. 1 spectator sport in the country," said Coors Chief Marketing Officer Andy England.

Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser, meanwhile, which has held the official beer role since 1999, is reshuffling most of its Nascar sponsorship activities. It recently split with longtime driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., who acquired Pepsi as his primary sponsor for next season, and enlisted Kasey Kahne as its new driver.

An A-B spokesman couldn't immediately comment on Bud being supplanted as the official beer.

Second sponsorship needed
Bud sibling Busch has also surrendered its title sponsorship of the Nascar-owned Busch Series, a minor-league event that occasionally includes some of the senior circuit's top racers, effective next year. Busch had held the sponsorship since 1984, when it succeeded Budweiser, which had held it for two years before that.

Nascar is still seeking a sponsor for the Busch series.
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