Weekend Beverage Headlines: O.J. Mayo, Repole bids on the Mets, and a Refreshed Pepsi Refresh

Not that they would want to, of course, but even those retreating to the friendly confines of the sports section this weekend couldn’t escape the beverage business. Especially not with basketball superstar O.J. Mayo blaming an energy drink purchased in the Memphis area for a drug test that turned up the banned supplement DHEA.asketball superstar O.J. Mayo blaming an energy drink purchased in the Memphis area for a drug test that turned up the banned supplement DHEA.

It should be noted that the BevNET database contains several drinks that list DHA as an ingredient — but so does salmon. DHA (docosahexaeonic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid that is purportedly good for the heart and brain. DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland. As far as we know, the only adrenally-oriented energy drink is SoBe Adrenaline Rush, although steroids aren’t generally associated with the Pepsi portfolio.

Speaking of PepsiCo, however, its process for gaming the voting system to secure the largest grants offered by the “Pepsi Refresh” project has, of late, received even more negative attention than voters who made an NBA All-Star starter out of perenially-shelved Houston center Yao Ming. In fact, one group of about 10 organizations called the “Progressive Slate” pulled in $500,000 out of an available $1.3 million in both September and November last year, according to the Wall Street Journal. That’s about to change, however — yesterday PepsiCo said the biggest awards are being cut back from $250,000 to $50,000 and the emphasis will be shifted away from causes that allowed voting blocs of aligned nonprofits to strategically scoop up much of the available cash through coordinated voting efforts.

That said, the sports section also contained some pretty exciting news for a beverage industry superstar: it seems that Mike Repole, whose hard-charging marketing style is largely credited with building glaceau into the enhanced water behemoth that was sold to Coke for $4.1 billion, is now lining up to buy a chunk of the New York Mets. Sharp observers would note that Repole has already done business with at least one Met, third baseman David Wright, who, along with rapper 50 Cent and other superstars made millions endorsing vitaminwater in a now-canonic promotion-for-ownership deal.

Was O.J. Mayo looking for fish oil?