The state of Illinois is considering selling the rights of its name to a beverage company. It would be the first US state to sell its name to a drinks company. Although alcohol has been ruled out, all other beverages are being considered.

The proposal would entail a contract with one specific beverage company, which would pay the state for the privilege of calling itself the "official" state beverage and selling its products in about 1,300 vending machine at around 100 state parks, rest stops, offices and other government facilities.

Administration officials point to the profit of agreements such as those between Houston and Dr Pepper (US$5.3m for the city over 10 years), or San Diego and Pepsi (US$6.6m to US$23.6m over 12 years). Last year, New York City signed an "official beverage" agreement with Snapple worth US$126m over five years.

The state already has sent "request for information" documents to 19 beverage distributors and bottlers around the state.

The administration hopes to have a contract in place by the beginning of next year.