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International: Pepsi becomes official soft drink of NFL

01-April-2002
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International: Pepsi becomes official soft drink of NFL

PepsiCo has replaced Coca-Cola as the official soft drink sponsor of the National Football League. The deal is worth $200 million over five years.

The new agreement also renews the NFL's arrangement with PepsiCo's Frito-Lay snacks and Gatorade energy drink, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this season as the official sports drink of the NFL, and brings Tropicana orange juice into the fold as the league's new official juice sponsor.

Pepsi now has exclusive rights to league trademarks such as the NFL shield, the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl and other calendar opportunities such as the NFL draft. Pepsi also receives collective club trademark rights to use all 32 team logos. Both deals include media and promotional spending.

Coke will continue to buy ad time and be a sponsor on the team level. In fact, Coca-Cola has sponsorship agreements with 23 of the league's 32 teams. Pepsi has agreements with 10 teams; both beverage makers double up on one franchise.

In what many regard as the bitterest rivalry in marketing, Pepsi has tweaked Coke several times over the past year: It swooped in to purchase Quaker Oats Co. after Coca-Cola had delayed a decision; it then took $350 million in business away from Coke superagency Interpublic Group of Cos. and moved it to Omnicom Group; and, last week, Pepsi beat out Coke to become the official cola of United Airlines.

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