Reebok and Coors Fine Light Beer will be joint sponsors of ITV’s coverage of Super Bowl and the National Football League (NFL) Playoffs early next year.

ITV’s three-year deal with the NFL kicks off with weekly coverage of the Playoffs next January, culminating in a live broadcast of Super Bowl XXXIX from Jacksonville, Florida, on Sunday February 6. Reebok, the NFL’s exclusive global uniform suppliers, and Coors, the NFL’s US beer partner, will share sponsorship of ITV’s exclusive terrestrial coverage as part of a wide-ranging agreement with the NFL.

Reebok and Coors will also feature in the NFL’s marketing and promotional push during the NFL season, which kicks off on September 9, and in the build-up to Super Bowl. That activity will include media partnerships, retail promotions and the presentation of Super Bash II, the NFL’s official UK Super Bowl party.

Alistair Kirkwood, NFL Europe Vice-President of Strategic Planning, said: ‘It is very exciting to be working with two blue chip companies like Reebok and Coors Fine Light Beer. It is a ground-breaking agreement to have two companies sharing a sponsorship in this way, and it is indicative of the great interest in the potential of the NFL in the UK.’

Michael Price, Marketing Director of Reebok UK, said: ‘The Super Bowl is one of the most watched sporting events on earth and the ITV1 coverage will generate interest not seen in the UK since the 80s. Reebok is therefore proud to be a major sponsor at this exciting time for the NFL. We are already kit manufacturers to all 32 NFL teams, as well as the six NFL Europe teams, and are the exclusive suppliers of all official replica merchandise. This agreement is a natural extension of our relationship with the NFL and will give Reebok the opportunity to capitalize on exclusive sports coverage within our category.’

Stuart Cain of Coors Fine Light Beer said: ‘Since launching in the UK, Coors Fine Light Beer has made a huge impact in pubs and supermarkets nationwide. By linking with the NFL we can promote Coors’ US ‘Rocky Mountain’ heritage and ‘epic refreshment’ by leveraging our involvement extensively to consumers and in the trade.’

Gary Knight of ITV Sales commented: ‘We are thrilled that the Super Bowl is coming to ITV for the first time and with Reebok and Coors now on board we look forward to building on the event’s loyal UK following.’

ITV1 will air highlights of the NFL’s three weeks of Playoff games on consecutive Monday evenings, beginning on January 10, and will broadcast Super Bowl, the biggest one-day sporting event in the world, live on ITV1 on Sunday February 6, with an edited version airing on ITV2 the following evening.

Super Bowl attracted a combined audience of more than one million on Sky Sports and Channel Five in each of the last two years – representing the highest UK audience for the event in almost a decade.

Coors Fine Light Beer will also be the sponsor of all of Sky Sports’ 2004 NFL season programming, which will feature live broadcasts of two games every Sunday, plus every Playoff game, including Super Bowl XXXIX.

Kirkwood continued: ‘The NFL has identified the UK as one of its priority markets and the exciting deal with ITV is an important stage in reintroducing the sport over here. We are very pleased that major companies are working with us and supporting our broadcasters. Both Reebok and Coors are very excited about our activities and share our vision of how big the NFL and Super Bowl can be in the UK.’

The 2004 NFL season kicks off on Thursday September 9, when the defending champion New England Patriots will be among the favourites to contest Super Bowl. The 17-week regular season concludes on January 2, with the top 12 teams qualifying for the Playoffs. The opening game, when the Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, will be preceded by a one-hour concert featuring Elton John, Lenny Kravitz, Mary J. Blige, Jessica Simpson, and the reunion of Destiny’s Child, including Beyonce Knowles and Kelly Rowland. The concert will be the NFL’s first entry back into show business entertainment since the infamous Janet Jackson breast baring at Super Bowl 2004.

For further information:

Nigel Hill, Reebok UK,
01524 580100.

Cheryl Finch/Jane Hall, Coors Brewers Ltd,
01283 511000.

Louise Dorey, ITV Sales Press Office, 020 7316 3165.