Pepsi, Beyoncé Agree to “Pioneering” $50 Million Deal

In a deal that the company calls “pioneering” in its range and scale, PepsiCo announced today that it has entered into a new multi-year partnership with pop singer Beyoncé. PepsiCo has hailed the deal – estimated to be worth $50 million, according to The New York Times – as a “true creative and wide-ranging collaboration” that will expand Beyoncé’s presence in global advertising and marketing campaigns for Pepsi and support new creative projects launched by the Grammy-winning artist.

“The Beyoncé partnership is the lead example of how Pepsi is pioneering a new way for brands to engage with musical artists, moving from sponsor to partner,” PepsiCo said in a statement. “This creates a creative and commercial collaboration that serves both artist and brand.”

The innovative agreement comes eight months after PepsiCo’s agreement with hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj to lead its “Live for Now” campaign, the company’s new branding initiative intended to capture the excitement of “now” via relationships with contemporary pop-culture icons and musical acts. Beyoncé, who has been a spokesperson for Pepsi since 2002, will play a significant role in “Live for Now” advertising, beginning with a global TV commercial slated for release next year, as well as in-store and on-premise displays. Pepsi will also launch new cans and bottles with Beyoncé’s image, and the singer will participate in the overall design for all marketing materials used in partnership.

“Beyoncé, who continually defines and redefines what ‘now’ means for her millions of devotees worldwide, is the perfect partner and ambassador for Pepsi,” said Brad Jakeman, president of PepsiCo’s Global Beverages Group.

Beyond the staggering financial windfall, the collaboration represents a unique branding opportunity for Beyoncé. According to The Times, sources close to the deal indicate that the singer will be able to tap into Pepsi’s massive reach and resources to “indulge [her] creative whims, and might well have no explicit connection to Pepsi products,” including live shows and photo shoots. For its part, Pepsi hopes transcend from a company that simply pays individuals to endorse its brands to one that engages consumers through shared equity and standing with cultural icons like Beyoncé.

“Consumers are seeking a much greater authenticity in marketing from the brands they love,” Jakeman told The Times. “It’s caused a shift in the way we think about deals with artists, from a transactional deal to a mutually beneficial collaboration.”