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NFL's Beer Deal Doesn't Add Up
CNBC.com | May 06, 2010 | 11:50 AM EDT

Earlier this week, Anheuser Busch agreed to make Bud Light the official beer sponsor of the NFL starting in 2011 , taking over for current sponsor Coors Light.

SportsBusinessJournal put the bill at $1.2 billion, which averages out to $200 million per year -- double what its predecessor paid for the deal.

So the question is, is it worth it?

I can't really see how.

You see, the deal comes with too little exclusivity. Bud Light will have the rights to the NFL shield and its marks, including the Super Bowl.

But it doesn't have exclusive rights to team logos -- team deals are done separately. Not only that, team alcohol deals are also not exclusive. So the same team can have both Coors and Bud Light as sponsors.

This deal also doesn't include spirits rights nor does it include any television advertising exclusivity on NFL broadcasts, other than an extension to the exclusive Super Bowl rights it had already owned through 2012.

And it doesn't include the rights to use any players. Active players can't endorse alcohol brands.

People in the business will say that this makes sense because having the official NFL deal gets all the behind-the-scenes people excited, from the sales guy to the retailer, who ultimately controls what goes in front of the customer.

The problem is of course that Bud Light doesn't exactly have a distribution problem to begin with.

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