Labatt continues lawsuit for NHL sponsorship rights
Labatt Breweries of Canada has notified the National Hockey League and Molson Coors that it will seek to have its case regarding NHL sponsorship rights reheard by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. In February, the NHL 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. According to Labatt, this agreement conflicted with its own negotiations to renew its sponsorship of the league. In June the Ontario Superior Court upheld the Labatt lawsuit, but this ruling was recently struck down by the Ontario Court of Appeal. "We strongly believe in the merits of the case and look forward to an early decision by the court," said Charlie Angelakos, vice-president of corporate affairs at Labatt. "Although the Court of Appeal determined there was a procedural error in the initial Superior Court decision, it didn't comment on the merits of the case. We negotiated, in good faith, terms for the renewal of our sponsorship of the NHL for the 2011 to 2014 season and we'll pursue our legal rights vigorously."