PepsiCo has held on to the top spot in a chart of commercial sponsorship spenders in the US in 2010.

The table, compiled this week by sponsorship research provider IEG, saw PepsiCo top the pile with a spend last year of between US$335m and $340m. The runner-up in 2009, The Coca-Cola Co, remained at number two, with a spend in the region of $245 to $250m, according to IEG.

Anheuser-Busch, the US arm of A-B InBev, climbed one place to number three, leapfrogging Nike, having spent between $220m and $225m.

“After a year in which the list of sponsors spending more than $15m shrank in number, 2010 witnessed significant growth, as 14 corporations joined or returned to the big-budget roster,” IEG said. “Those gains were offset by the loss of only three companies, meaning the list grew from 66 sponsors in 2009 to 77 in 2010.”

Other drinks companies that appear on the list include MillerCoors at number seven, spending between $155m and $160m, Diageo North America at number 32 – up two places – with a spend of between $35m and $40m, and Dr Pepper Snapple Group, climbing two places to number 33 with a similar spend to Diageo.

Brown-Forman fell out of the rankings altogether in 2010, due to its decision to drop its primary sponsorship of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team.

The spending estimates for the companies on the list reflect amounts spent on sponsorship fees of US properties and the portion of spending on international properties that is directed to the US market.