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MillerCoors Claims New England Patriots Broke Sponsorship Deal

Sept. 27 (Bloomberg) -- MillerCoors LLC, the beer maker, claims in a lawsuit that the New England Patriots football team reneged on an exclusive sponsorship contract to “pursue a more lucrative exclusive agreement” with Anheuser-Busch InBev NV.

A copy of yesterday’s complaint in Massachusetts state court was provided by MillerCoors. The filing couldn’t be confirmed independently with the court.

“We negotiated in good faith with the New England Patriots for several months, at their invitation, to become their exclusive and official beer partner after several years of a shared deal,” Pete Marino, a MillerCoors spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. “Regrettably the team has now reneged on the deal that was reached, and we are left with no choice but to take legal action and ask the courts to uphold the integrity of our binding legal agreement.”

MillerCoors has been an official beer sponsor of the National Football League team for almost 10 years, according to the complaint. The current sponsorship deal expires in February.

``I have not seen any complaint or official filing yet, so I wouldn’t be comfortable offering any comment,'' Dan Goldberg, a lawyer for the Patriots, said in an e-mailed statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Jeffrey in New York at djeffrey1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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