It will be all change in the NBA next season after it was confirmed that Pepsi will replace Coke as the league’s food and beverage sponsor, ending an association between two of America’s most iconic brands that has lasted 28 years. Pepsi, who had an existing deal with the NBA through Gatorade, will now be able to promote the likes of Mountain Dew, Aquafina, Brisk, Doritos and Ruffles in association with the league.
Pepsi now holds sponsorship deals with all four of the U.S. major sports organisations, meaning next season the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League and now the National Basketball Association will all promote Pepsi products. In the U.S. and Canada, Mountain Dew that will be the lead brand in the deal, with campaigns expected to run alongside the NBA’s 3-on-3 basketball program and other schemes aimed at young people.
Following the announcement, Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi claimed the deal was “a slam dunk for the league and for our company”, a comment one can only hope was met with disappointed silence from the attending media and dignitaries.
But Coke won’t be completely absent from the sporting scene in the future, with the company still be able to promote products through their existing deals with NBA stars such as LeBron James. Coke is one of a number of big name brands who work with James – Who’s Cleveland Cavaliers team are currently the favorites at a price 5/2 with Betfair to go all the way in this season’s playoffs and become the NBA Champions.
On top of that, Coke has revealed they will become the exclusive sponsor of Major League Soccer. Pepsi had been the league’s official non-alcoholic beverage partner since its inception in 1996, but lost out to Coke for the exclusive rights at the start of the year following the end of Pepsi’s deal.