Amway has signed on as the first presenting sponsor in Detroit Red Wings team history. The deal lasts for three seasons and is an extension of a partnership that began last season. Last year, Amway joined the Wings as a team sponsor and had their logo affixed on the Wings’ practice jerseys and pucks. Red Wings games will now be branded as “Detroit Red Wings hockey presented by Amway” during television spots, on tickets and in print by the team. The Amway logo will also be features prominently in the arena and on the ice. As part of the deal, Amway’s Nutrilite products will become the official vitamin and supplement of the Red Wings. The DeVos family which owns and founded Amway also owns the Wings’ AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Needless to say, this deal is somewhat controversial. Amway doesn’t have the best image and many fans probably won’t be happy to see the Wings sell out their name. It’s one thing to sell your name, but it’s another to do it with a partner that is very divisive. It should be noted that Amway has also been a major advertiser during the NHL on Versus the last couple of years. Amway is Michigan based so that should ease the sting for some fans. It will be interesting to see how each party uses this deal to be a benefit to them whether it is through giveaways or stronger marketing.
Detroit also signed another big sponsorship deal last month, extending their deal with longtime beer sponsor MillerCoors. That deal will last until 2015-16. Miller and its various brands have been the franchise’s official domestic beer since 1993.