Anheuser-Busch, MLB drop litigation, re-up


Anheuser-Busch and Major League Baseball have reached a multi-year sponsorship renewal. Both agreed to drop their pending litigation. It had gotten messy, too. Anheuser-Busch sued the league’s licensing arm in a Manhattan federal court in November, claiming that it reneged on a multiyear renewal of the sponsorship rights and demanded exponentially higher fees. A-B had asked a judge to force MLB to adhere to the terms of a sponsorship agreement the beer giant struck with MLB in April.

MLB had countersued the brewer after claims Anheuser-Busch breached its sponsorship agreement by cutting another deal with the NFL to make Bud Light the official beer of the NFL beginning in 2011. MLB claimed Anheuser-Busch promised that MLB would be its #1 sports property in the US, but the scope of its agreement with the NFL made that impossible, said Courthouse News Service.

But now that is all behind them. The new agreement designates Budweiser as Official Beer Sponsor of Major League Baseball. Anheuser-Busch will continue to promote its Budweiser brand through Major League Baseball-themed promotions, in-store POP displays, television and print, and on its products.  Budweiser is a sponsor of 26 of 30 MLB teams.