Published Date

NEW YORK, September 9, 2021 – As football fans everywhere gear up for the start of football season later this evening, Crown Royal, as the first-ever whisky sponsor of the National Football League (NFL), announced plans to turn game day into a giving day through its ‘Kick Off with Crown Royal’ program. Building on Diageo’s league sponsorship deal, the brand will extend its ongoing generosity efforts to all those who show up for us each game day, including those in the hospitality industry and members of the military.

Crown Royal has had a rich legacy in pro football. In 2017 it became the first spirits brand to advertise during a televised NFL game. Most recently, the brand launched its largest-ever responsible drinking campaign, The Crown Royal Water Break, that encourages drinking in moderation on game day. The stage is set for this natural evolution in the partnership between two beloved North American brand icons with a shared goal of recognizing all those who make game day special.

“The NFL has a proven track record in uniting fans through their efforts supporting local communities, which ties perfectly into our mission to give back and inspire generosity,” said Sophie Kelly, SVP of Whiskies, Diageo North America. “While on game day fans proudly celebrate those on the field, we believe the communities who make game day what it is off the field deserve equal recognition. We’re thrilled to be the first official whisky sponsor of the NFL, and to utilize our partnership to support the people and places who make game day great.”

To kick off the start of the NFL regular season, Crown Royal hosted a special Industry Night of Service last night for hospitality and stadium workers at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium. Special guests including former Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware and country music star Riley Green also attended to help announce the brand’s $50,000 donation to longtime Crown Royal partner, the Southern Smoke Foundation, an organization that financially supports individuals in the food and beverage industry in need. The initial donation is part of a Crown Royal year-long commitment, including ‘Kick Off With Crown Royal,’ to donate $1 million dollars via the Crown Royal Generosity Fund, a donor advised fund, to national and local charities.

“Our mission at Southern Smoke is to provide support and assistance for those in the food and beverage community and their suppliers,” says Kathryn Lott, Executive Director of Southern Smoke. “Crown Royal has a long-standing spirit of generosity and commitment to supporting the hospitality industry, and their support will assist not only individuals in Texas, but across the country.”

“The NFL is excited to officially welcome Crown Royal as the first-ever official whisky sponsor of the NFL,” says Tracie Rodburg, Senior Vice President of Sponsorship Management at the NFL. “We’re looking forward to supporting Crown Royal as they work to make this football season the most generous one yet by giving back to local communities, hospitality workers and military heroes all season long.”

The brand’s generosity efforts will extend throughout the NFL season with future Nights of Service benefitting hospitality and stadium workers being planned. These efforts will extend to another group whose generosity continues to go unmatched, military veterans, who Crown Royal has supported for over a decade through The Purple Bag Project.

This past June, Crown Royal parent company Diageo announced it was entering into a multiyear sponsorship with the NFL as its first ever Official Spirits Sponsor. As part of today’s announcement, Crown Royal becomes one of the first brands within the global beverage leader’s portfolio to activate against this partnership.

Crown Royal invites you to raise a glass to all those who help us cheer on our favorite teams throughout the season, and please drink responsibly.