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Ontario Superior Court dismisses Labatt NHL sponsorship suit

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has dismissed the suit brought by Labatt Breweries of Canada against the National Hockey League and MolsonCoors regarding NHL sponsorship rights. In February of this year, the NHL signed a seven-year agreement with MolsonCoors 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 struck down by the Ontario Court of Appeal in July. At that time, Labatt sought to have the case reheard by the Superior Court. "While we are surprised and disappointed by this outcome, Budweiser remains the favourite beer of hockey fans across Canada," said Charlie Angelakos, vice-president of corporate affairs at Labatt. "Budweiser is excited and privileged to continue to bring our enthusiasm for the greatest game in the world to Canadians from coast-to-coast. We just launched today our unique and exciting new Budweiser First Beeriod advertising campaign and we will reinforce our relationship with hockey through programs we've developed at both the grass roots and professional team levels in Canada during the 2011-2012 season." Justice Geoffrey Morawetz said that the reasons for the dismissal will be released at a later date.  Labatt said it would review its legal options at that time.

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