The National Hockey League has signed a seven-year agreement with Molson Coors in Canada and MillerCoors in the US making Molson Canadian the exclusive beer sponsor of the league beginning with the 2011-12 season. Molson Canadian will be the official beer of the NHL, as well as events including the NHL Face-Off, NHL Winter Classic, NHL Heritage Classic and NHL All-Star games. The companies also gain the right to offer consumer promotions involving the Stanley Cup, NHL.com, NHL Network, NHL Mobile and NHL Social. "This partnership with Molson Coors and MillerCoors will be groundbreaking for the NHL and our fans,” said John Collins, the league's chief operating officer. "Molson Canadian is an iconic brand with a rich hockey heritage and Coors Light has a track record of connecting with sports fans in innovative and effective ways. The combination of unprecedented support of our clubs and TV rightsholders with activation across the NHL’s comprehensive portfolio of marketing and media assets will create great opportunities for both brands." Labatt Breweries of Canada, the current beer sponsor of the NHL, released a statement yesterday in response to this agreement. "Labatt has been the official beer sponsor of the NHL in Canada for more than a decade and we began sponsorship renewal negotiations with the league several months ago to secure sponsorship rights," said Labatt vice-president of corporate affairs Charlie Angelakos. "These negotiations with the NHL proceeded positively and in good faith to the point where the parties had agreed upon the terms of renewal of a sponsorship agreement until 2014. Nothing has happened to change that situation. We have an agreement with the league and are pursuing all legal remedies available to us to enforce this agreement. We will pursue our case aggressively."