Coors Light named official beer of Fighting Illini

By Daily Illini Staff Report

Coors Light is now the official beer of the Fighting Illini, thanks to a four-year deal struck between MillerCoors and the University. 

The deal gives Coors Light exclusive access to the University’s athletic logos, according to a press release.

Orange and Blue Distributing Company, founded in 1898 in Champaign, serves as the regional distributor for MillerCoors. As the distributor, Orange and Blue will be able to use the University logo on its point of sale activity. 

“This is a big deal for us to be able to exclusively utilize the U of I marks on our point of sale, legally,” said BJ Stipes, General Manager for Orange and Blue Distributing Company. “It’s great for us, I think it’s great for our business so we’re excited about it.”

In September 2013, Koerner Distributer, Inc., based in Effingham, Illinois, purchased Orange and Blue Distributing. Koerner already acts as a supporter for other colleges and minor league baseball programs, including Southern Illinois University athletics, Eastern Illinois University athletics and Southern Illinois Miners Frontier League baseball. 

“We were purchased about a year ago by Koerner but we are still using (the name) Orange and Blue because of the tie to the University,” Stipes said.

Stipes added that he is most excited about the size of the market the University community offers. 

“The city of Champaign and U of I really has everything,” Stipes said. “The sporting events are big business; football and basketball are big time. To be able to use those marks on our point of sale, gives us, I feel, an advantage.”