RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:


Diageo becomes NFL's first spirits sponsor

Diageo has become the first official spirits sponsor of the National Football League (NFL).

The multi-year sponsorship deal with the American sports league will include opportunities for on-site activations and engagement with adult fans, as well as broadcast, digital and social content from NFL Kickoff through the Super Bowl.

While Crown Royal Canadian Whisky has had a sizeable footprint with the NFL in recent years, the deal with international conglomerate Diageo marks a significant step up.

The collaboration will feature major brands including Smirnoff Vodka, Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum and Crown Royal, alongside responsible drinking programmes, integration into marquee evnets such as NFL Honors and, starting in the 2022 season, involvement with the NFL International Series games in London.

"NFL games have the powerful ability to bring people together, and that very much ties into what our brands at Diageo are all about: bringing people together to celebrate life," said Ed Pilkington, chief marketing and innovation officer, Diageo North America.

"This is a perfect match. We are energised about bringing new and exciting programmes and experiences to the NFL’s passionate adult fan base, while continuing to use our platform to champion social responsibility in every way."

Renie Anderson, chief revenue officer and executive vice president of NFL Partnerships, said: "We’re thrilled to welcome Diageo, a global leader in the spirits industry, to the NFL family as our first ever spirits sponsor.

"We look forward to working with Diageo on innovative programmes to elevate their business, as well as furthering the important message around responsible drinking."

This new deal is the latest success for Diageo in breaking boundaries in spirits advertising. In 2017, Crown Royal became the first spirits brand to advertise during a televised NFL game with its “Water Break” Responsible Drinking campaign encouraging moderation. Back in 2004, Diageo became the first company in the industry to partner with NASCAR after the auto racing company lifted its longstanding ban on distilled spirits sponsors. Currently, Diageo has 12 NFL team and stadium deals.

17 June 2021 - Bethany Whymark