Pfizer wants Canadians to think EpiPen. What else but a hockey partnership?

Montreal's Bell Centre

Got severe food allergies, Montreal Canadiens fans? Worry not: Thanks to Pfizer ($PFE), anaphylaxis med EpiPen is near.

The pharma giant has teamed up with the Bell Centre--home of the Canadiens, the NHL's all-time winningest team--to place so-called EpiPen emergency kits on every floor of the venue. Each will contain four EpiPen Auto-Injectors and treatment information, and select employees will receive training on how to respond to severe allergic reactions, too.

As part of the agreement, the arena will promote EpiPen's availability on the premises. "As a leader of the entertainment scene, it is important for us to be in a position to better respond to an emergency situation at all times and offer an environment that all our customers can enjoy," team CEO Geoff Molson said in a statement.

Montreal Canadiens CEO Geoff Molson

Pfizer, which boasts marketing rights to the drug in Canada, is hoping others follow that lead, now that EpiPen--which had the market to itself for more than two decades--has some new competition in Sanofi's ($SNY) Auvi-Q. Last year, the French drugmaker's med, dubbed Allerject in Canada, recorded its first sales in the country, racking up €9 million ($9.9 million) in revenue outside the U.S. and Western Europe.

In response, Pfizer--for which EpiPen generated $294 million in 2014--has stepped up its marketing game. The Bell Centre partnership follows a social media contest it rolled out last September with local airline WestJet, which offered Canadians at risk of anaphylaxis the chance to win a vacation package for four.

Pfizer's not the only one amping up its EpiPen promotional efforts. Mylan ($MYL), which markets the drug elsewhere to the tune of blockbuster sales, increased its SG&A costs by about $52 million last year, with the spending going primarily to the product and its DTC campaign. And last November, Mylan inked a pact with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to set up EpiPen locations at the company's parks and on its cruise ships.

- read the release

Special Report: 10 big brands keep pumping out big bucks, with a little help from price hikes - EpiPen -- Mylan

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