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Monday, February 12, 2007

Miller Lite Challenges Budweiser to NASCAR Duel

This is a bet that is sure to be ignored, but the marketing people behind Miller Lite are placing the naming rights that they own for the baseball stadium in Milwaukee on the table in a challenge to Budweiser's NASCAR team.

The proposed bet goes like this: whichever brand's sponsored car ends up with the most points at the end of the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup season will get the chance to rename the other brand's ballpark for a series between the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals for the 2008 Major League Baseball season. Based on the annual costs for the naming rights at Miller Park in Milwaukee, that wager is worth around $78,000 for a three game series.

The Miller Lite #2 is driven by Kurt Busch, while the Budweiser #8 is driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Last year the Miller Lite brand offered up a wager that the Budweiser team ignored that would have called for the paint scheme on one of the cars to be switched for a NASCAR race to the winning brand based on Nextel Cup points. Budweiser did not accept the bet and would have won based on the 2006 final standings. The value of that bet, using prevailing sponsorship costs, would have been around five times this season's proposal.

A certified letter was dispatched from Miller Lite to Anheuser-Busch President and Chief Executive Officer August Busch IV with the rules for the wager. The ground rules state that play-off games were not eligible and that temporary banners would be draped over interior and exterior signage as part of the name change. The loser would pay for the signage production.

Left out of Miller Lite's offer is the #40 Coors Light NASCAR team. The Colorado Rockies are also in the National League and play in Coors Field in Denver.

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