This morning, Molson Coors Brewing announced that its Coors Brewing unit has inked a 5-year pact with the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR I always forget that's an acronym) to be the official beer sponsor for the league. As part of the pact, Coors Light will be lauded as the official beer of NASCAR, clinching the exclusive rights to NASCAR logos in advertising, packaging, and promotions. Financial terms of the deal were not published.

Coors' larger rival, Anheuser-Busch , said in December that it would end its 25-year sponsorship of NASCAR's Busch Series after the 2007 season. BUD paid about $10 million per year for sponsoring this series, but NASCAR officials were hoping to raise the price to between $35 million and $40 million, a sum at which BUD balked. BUD is obviously losing its role as beer sponsor as well, and is no longer sponsoring driver Dale Earnhardt as of this season's conclusion. But BUD isn't completely out of the high-octane game ... driver Kasey Kahne will take over the Budweiser colors and logo beginning in 2008.

In early trading today, TAP and BUD shares are both showing minor gains.