Diageo Becomes First Spirits Sponsor of the NFL

diageo nfl national football league sponsor

The National Football League has named Diageo as the first ever Official Spirits Sponsor of the NFL.

This multiyear sponsorship includes opportunities for onsite activation and engagement with adult fans, as well as broadcast, digital and social content from NFL Kickoff through the Super Bowl.

For years, Diageo’s Crown Royal Canadian Whisky has had a significant footprint with the NFL. Diageo now expands further, featuring some of the biggest spirits brands in the world in Smirnoff Vodka, Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum and Crown Royal Whisky.

This collaboration includes responsible drinking programs, integration into marquee events (such as NFL Honors) and, starting with the 2022 season, involvement in 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,” says Ed Pilkington, chief marketing and innovation officer, Diageo North America. “This is a perfect match. We are energized about bringing new and exciting programs and experiences to the NFL’s passionate adult fan base, while continuing to use our platform to champion social responsibility in every way.”


Diageo’s role as the first Official Spirits Sponsor of the NFL follows a 2017 campaign, when Crown Royal became the first spirits brand to advertise during a televised NFL game. This was Crown Royal’s “Water Break” Responsible Drinking campaign, encouraging moderation.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Diageo, a global leader in the spirits industry, to the NFL family as our first ever spirits sponsor,” says Renie Anderson, chief revenue officer and EVP of NFL Partnerships. “We look forward to working with Diageo on innovative programs to elevate their business, as well as furthering the important message around responsible drinking.”

Currently, Diageo has 12 NFL team and stadium deals.

As part of this new sponsorship, Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum becomes a presenting sponsor of the NFL’s Fan of the Year contest.

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.


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