Pepsi to replace Coke in NBA marketing deal
NEW YORK, United States — The National Basketball Association is trading Coke for Pepsi.
The league said Monday that it’s struck a new marketing partnership with Pepsico, ending a 28-year partnership with Coca-Cola.
Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi said during a press conference in New York that the company will bring the power of its portfolio of 22 brands to the NBA. The Purchase, New York-based company’s brands include Pepsi, Tropicana, Lay’s, Lipton and Doritos.
Nooyi pointed out that Pepsico Inc. had an existing relationship with the NBA through Gatorade, which has been a partner with the league for more than 30 years. The executive said that Mountain Dew will lead the NBA’s marketing strategy.
The partnership will cover North America and China, where the popularity of the NBA is growing.
Coke strong presence
The Coca-Cola Co. said in a statement on Monday that it “will continue to have a strong presence within basketball culture through our relationships with iconic players.” The world’s biggest beverage maker also said that it will continue to have relationships with individual teams and venues, which means some arenas will still serve Coke products.
Separately, Coca-Cola announced Monday that it signed a multiyear partnership with the U.S. Soccer Federation and Major League Soccer. The deal also includes a renewal of Coca-Cola’s partnership with the Mexican National Team’s U.S. Tour.
Coca-Cola will serve as the official beverage partner across the non-alcoholic beverage category for U.S. Soccer and the Mexican National Team’s U.S. Tour. The exclusive association with MLS will include both soda and water brands.
Coca-Cola, which also makes Sprite, Powerade and Vitaminwater, said in October that it planned to cut costs by $3 billion a year through a variety of measures, such as restructuring its global supply chain. The Atlanta-based company said much of the savings would be reinvested into marketing.
Shares of Pepsico shed 49 cents to $95.71 in afternoon trading, while Coca-Cola’s stock fell 11 cents to $40.77.
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