US: PepsiCo notches NHL sponsorship
PepsiCo has edged out Coca-Cola Co. by signing a sponsorship deal with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA).
Coke has had a relationship with hockey since 1989, and signed a four-year extension in 2001, according to Bloomberg, but a multi-year arrangement is due to roll over into Pepsi's hands from 1 July.
Pepsi will gain exclusive rights in the beverage, sports beverage, bottled water and snack categories, as well as select marketing and promotional rights in North America. The company's Gatorade brand will also become the official sports drink of the NHL, replacing Powerade on the benches of all 30 NHL teams for hydration purposes.
PepsiCo sales president Al Carey said: "PepsiCo is very enthusiastic about the partnership between the exciting new NHL brand and the broad range of brands in our portfolio. We will be able to bring the retail activation of hockey to many of our customers across all of North America."
Coca-Cola was unavailable for comment when contacted by just-drinks today (20 June).
"We're proud to have PepsiCo as a part of the NHL team. As an all-star company with all-star brands that NHL fans enjoy, it's a great fit between our two organisations," said Ed Horne, president, NHL Enterprises. "We welcome PepsiCo on the ice, and we look forward to a partnership founded in the passion of the game."
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