The Ottawa Champions have recently announced that they will be partnering with Molson Coors as their official beer supplier for the upcoming 2018 season. We have had a number of questions directed towards us in regards to this decision and want to clear up any rumours or misinformation.
In 2015, the beer available at the stadium was Kichesippi, Clocktower and Coors Light. We had a one year agreement in place at this time
In 2016 and 2017, we agreed upon a two year partnership and introduced Champions Light (to replace Coors Light) that we brewed in collaboration with Clocktower Brewing.
In situations like this, in order to have the right to be the official supplier, you need to commit to a certain sponsorship level to the organization. The challenge with committing to anything new like this, is that you don't have any data to determine if your business will get the necessary return on investment to justify the sponsorship commitment.
So, after three years of sponsorship commitments, and three years of sales to the Ottawa Champions, we compared the numbers and determined that it was the right decision to not pursue this for 2018. At the risk of using a tired cliche, it was a business decision on our part. We had a lot of fun with the team and learned a lot, but decided to commit our resources to different opportunities in 2018. As a family business, we have much tighter budgets and spending capabilities than a multinational corporation like Molson Coors. We have always had open and honest discussions with ownership and management of the team and we wish them well for the upcoming 2018 season. They were also kind enough to thank us for our commitments over the last three years.
Will Craft Beer be available at the stadium in 2018?
Our guess is no.
It was mentioned in the team press release yesterday that craft beer will continue to be available in 2018. Although we do not know the exact beer menu, our assumptions are that Molson Coors will bring in Creemore and Granville Island products in an effort to answer the demand for craft beer. One of the main pillars of craft beer is being an independent company, and as a result, Creemore and Granville are no longer craft beer products since they were purchased by Molson Coors. We welcome any discussion as to whether or not Creemore or Granville make good beer, but there is no debate as to whether or not these are craft beers.
Will Molson Coors and the Ottawa Champions be offering a local craft beer option to the fans in 2018? We do not know, but will be pleasantly surprised if they do.
In 2016, our owner Paul Meek was invited out to a game to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Despite practicing this for hours with his son, he was unable to get the ball across the plate with out bouncing it once in the dirt. We are truly sorry for all of you that had to watch this performance.