Coors Light, Miller Lite go big for football season

Coors Light and Miller Lite are ready for some football.

Molson Coors’ two leading brands are rushing into fall with a full slate of programming around pro and college football, investing big in local and national programs and making sure they’re on top of football fans’ minds no matter who’s playing.

Both brands plan a slate of sponsorships, team alliances and new advertising. Add in Molson Coors' first national Super Bowl ad in more than 30 years, and this season is shaping up to be memorable for the beverage maker.

“Few things go better together than football and beer, but we’re taking that a level further: Nothing goes better with football than our brands,” says April Roberts, associate marketing manager for Coors Light.

Miller Lite tackles pro football

As pro football kicks off, Miller Lite’s plans include sponsorships of several leading podcasts and major fantasy sports and sports betting platforms.

The brand also this fall is unveiling updated packaging that features imagery of its 16 partner teams along with ads planned across social, digital and out-of-home media, says Adam Lieblich, associate marketing manager for Miller Lite.

“Football is our No. 1 priority, and we have a powerful 16-team alliance. The updated packaging is bolder, stronger and really celebrates our longstanding partnerships,” he says. “Our local sales teams do an amazing job with retailers in those markets.”

The fresh packaging, Lieblich says, is designed to stand out in stores.

Falcons display“We’re using bigger and bolder team logos on our packaging and our sales teams are building amazing displays,” he says. “Consumers definitely notice our brands during football season.”

Nationally, Miller Lite has signed on as the lead beer sponsor of ESPN’s fantasy football app and its popular “Fantasy Focus” podcast, part of a 20% spend increase this season. When fans log onto ESPN’s fantasy football app, they’re fed a Miller Lite video. And when a player wins his or her week, they’re welcomed to the app with a blast of confetti, courtesy of Miller Lite.

“When you’re playing fantasy football this season, you’re going to see Miller Lite,” Lieblich says. “Fantasy football is huge because it’s not just die-hard fans playing. From the draft to the weekly smack talk and the occasion that goes with following games, fantasy football is very much a Miller Time moment.”

Miller Lite also is a sponsor of the popular “Fantasy Pros” podcast, which offers news and analysis for fantasy football players. And it’s reupped its partnership with sports betting platform Draft Kings.

“With sports betting becoming bigger every year, our Draft Kings partnership gives us even more visibility with fans,” he says.

Coors Light goes to college

With college football officially underway, Coors Light is back on Saturday mornings with a renewed partnership with ESPN College Game Day that will show up in online, social and out-of-home ads. Also back again is longtime Coors Light spokesman and college football broadcaster Kirk Herbstreit.

“Kirk’s the face of College Game Day and one of the most recognizable college football experts around. When he talks, college football fans listen,” says Roberts.

Herbstreit figures heavily into Coors Light’s football plans: fans can enter for a chance to win a one-on-one video chat with Herbstreit hosted by Cameo, the celebrity video-messaging app.

And with partnerships with dozens of universities, Coors Light is planning broad outreach to appeal to local fans, including retail display tools and merchandise.

“We’ve scaled up our work with alliance partners, but we want to make sure we’re showing up in an authentic way for college football fans around the country,” Roberts says.  “We’re not just showing up for the winners, but for all the passionate fans out there.”

The brand is showing up for football fans in other ways, too. It’s just coming off its sponsorship of “Grit Week,” the annual football celebration of “Pardon My Take,” the nation’s top sports podcast, for which it’s also a longtime sponsor.

Coors Light is continuing its work with Draft Kings, giving away $5,000 a week in prizes through the platform.

And it’s bringing back its popular “Mascots” ad throughout the season, which features two rival mascots relaxing over a couple of Coors Lights after a demanding performance.

“We want Coors Light to be the beer fans choose when they watch games, whether at home, tailgating or at bars with friends,” Roberts says. “We’re showing up in all areas of the game so when consumers think about college football, they’ll have a Coors Light in hand.”