FX Networks, MillerCoors in 3-Year Partnership Deal

Integrations galore for top beer brands

The next time the Soviet spies Elizabeth and Philip Jennings tuck into a tin of caviar on the FX drama The Americans, the comely commies will likely wash down the delicacy with the Champagne of Beers. 

FX Networks announced today it signed a game-changing three-year deal that establishes MillerCoors as the official beer purveyor of FX, FXX and FXM. While financials were not disclosed, the terms of the pact give MillerCoors category exclusivity on any program integrations, as well as first-look placement rights on FX programs in development.

On the integration side, fans of The Americans should keep their eyes peeled for some period-relevant Miller High Life and Miller Lite placement in the show, which is set in Washington, D.C. during the height of the Cold War. The recently-renewed drama stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as the dead sexy comrades in arms.

MillerCoors brands also will appear in upcoming episodes of the new FX series Fargo (Miller Lite and the craft beer Leinenkugel’s) and Coors Light and Blue Moon will pop up throughout the upcoming Guillermo del Toro horror epic, The Strain.

“FX Networks has enjoyed a wonderful partnership with MillerCoors for many years, most notably through their exclusive category placements in Sons of Anarchy and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” said Michael Brochstein, svp of advertising sales, FX Networks. “This new agreement is the most comprehensive advertising deal ever for the FX suite of channels.”

Brochstein added that the deal extends to opportunities in and around the new FX digital app, FXNOW. Behind-the-scenes footage culled from the FX stable of hits also will be made available via MillerCoors’ various social-media channels.

While duration of the deal makes it a rarity for a general entertainment network—multiyear pacts are typically reserved for major sports franchises—the consistency and reach of FX’s original programming makes it a true must-buy for brands looking to connect with younger, more affluent viewers. 

“Beer is all about the conversations that happen between friends, and so our objective is to make sure our brands are woven throughout the entertainment programming that matters most to beer drinkers,” said Jackie Woodward, vp of marketing connections at MillerCoors. “The programming on FX networks holds strong appeal to our consumers, especially men ages 21-to-35, and with our portfolio of great beers, we have the brand for any occasion. This partnership underscores our commitment to telling our brand stories with the right message, in the right places and at the right time.”

The deal arrives at a particularly charged moment for FX, which is rolling out its most ambitious slate of original series in its 21-year history. (It’s also a nice shot in the arm for the network’s ad sales team, which is prepping for another lucrative upfront outing. Per Fox Cable Networks president Lou LaTorre, cable ad sales volume should grow 5 percent in the 2014-15 bazaar, for an increase of around $500 million. The top-tier cable nets should see CPM increases in the 7 percent to 8 percent range.)