Patriot Beer Wars Illustrate Contract Dispute Issues Among Massachusetts Businesses

The New England Patriots find themselves in a beer war after MillerCoors sued the NFL team, alleging it bailed on a plan to make MillerCoors the team’s official beer sponsor. The brewer alleges the Patriots opted for a more lucrative agreement with Anheuser-Busch. The case is Civil Action No. 11-3496BLS, filed in Suffolk Superior Court.

Boston business attorneys are often called upon to handle contract disputes and litigation. Businesses often rely upon contracts to make personnel decisions, to hire employees, to schedule shifts and to manage cash flow and make other arrangements critical to a business’s success and financial future. Consequently, breach of contract can be a very serious issue that in some cases may have significant legal and financial consequences for both parties. 1209276_cold_beer_glass_isolated_on_white.jpg

MillerCoors spokesman Pete Marino told that the company had been in negotiations with the Patriots for months to become their exclusive beer partner. Says Marino, “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.”

Bloomberg reports MillerCoors may even be able to make a claim against Anheuser-Busch, if it can prove that the company knew about the deal between MillerCoors and the Patriots and intentionally tried to interfere with it. MillerCoors has been an official sponsor of the team for nearly a decade. The current deal expires in February.

While businesses often see legal advice as an expense, this case also illustrates how an attorney can save a company money in the long run. In this case, perhaps a lawsuit could have been avoided. And in some instances an experienced law firm may assist a company in striking a better deal. In this case, these exclusive sponsorship rights are worth millions to both the breweries and the teams. Seeking the advice of an experienced law firm may better assist either party in discerning what the market will bear or in determining what deals have been made through similar negotiations.

Contract law can include many areas, including:

-Employment contracts
-Business-to-business contracts
-Real Estate contracts
-Contract negotiations
-Government contracts
-Formations, mergers and acquisitions

By seeking the advice and legal counsel of an experienced Massachusetts business contract attorney, executives can ensure their rights are protected while helping to maximize their position during the formation, duration and execution of the contract. Conversely, not having experienced legal advice can put your business at a disadvantage which in the best case could cost you money and in the worst case could lead to serious financial or legal consequences.

A Boston business and employment law firm, The Brown Law Firm, LLC, has offices in Belmont and Boston, where it handles a wide variety of business litigation, including contract disputes, employment law, contracts and business formation. For a free and confidential consultation, call attorney Graeme Brown at 617-489-0817 or contact us through this website.

Additional Resources:

MillerCoors Claims New England Patriots Broke Sponsorship Deal, By Don Jeffrey, Bloomberg.

Boston Bar Assosiation