PepsiCo has signed on to become the official food and beverage partner of the National Basketball Association (NBA), as well as the WNBA, the NBA’s Development League, and USA Basketball. PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi and NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced the news in a joint press conference Monday. The five-year deal ends the NBA’s nearly 30-year marketing partnership with The Coca-Cola Company.
Mountain Dew has been tapped by PepsiCo to take the lead in the new endeavor, which will go into effect at the end of this season. Accordingly, Mountain Dew will replace Coca-Cola-owned Sprite as the sponsor of next year’s Slam Dunk Contest, which takes place during NBA All-Star Weekend in February. Other PepsiCo brands in the mix of the new deal will include Aquafina, Brisk, Ruffles, and Doritos.
In a statement to Ad Age, a Coca-Cola spokeswoman said “We remain fans of the NBA and have shared remarkable experiences during our 28-year partnership, however we have made the decision not to renew our global contract at the end of the 2015/2015 season. The Coca-Cola Company has committed an incremental $1 billion toward its brands over the next three years, and with this commitment comes the need to focus on the most effective and efficient investments to maximize brand growth.” Coca-Cola still has individual endorsement deals with NBA stars Lebron James and Derrick Rose.
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola had a new partnership of its own to unveil Monday. The company announced a multi-year deal with Major League Soccer (MLS) and the US Soccer Federation. Coca-Cola has been a global partner of the FIFA World Cup dating back to 1974 and advertised heavily throughout last year’s tournament.
“Coca-Cola and the beautiful game have always been associated with each other – whether at a global or local level,” said Ivan Pollard, Senior Vice President of Investment, Connections and Assets at Coca-Cola North America.