The deal underscores PepsiCo’s commitment to partnering with HBCUs and to fostering Black talent – a pillar of the brand’s Racial Equality Journey, a series of initiatives and an investment of $400 million over five years to address issues of inequality and create opportunity. As part of the announcement, PBNA is committing to hiring a SWAC student athlete from each participating university upon graduation.
“Sports are integral to Pepsi’s DNA, and we’re honored to join the SWAC family as main beverage partners,” said Derek Lewis, President, South Division, PepsiCo Beverages North America. “As an HBCU graduate myself, I am proud to help foster growth among these students to prime them for success – and to bring fans and consumers incredible experiences and memories.”
PBNA’s sponsorship of the SWAC represents a substantial increase in market share for the brand in a region previously held by a competitor. Signage and naming highlights included in PBNA’s corporate and presenting sponsorship of the 2020 – 2023 SWAC Football Championship, as well as the 2020 – 2023 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament, include a comprehensive suite of brand opportunities: exclusivity across beverage categories; logo displays on fields’ 50-yard lines; analog and digital logo displays; PA mentions; cable and digital media advertising; local TV and radio; and more. Additional assets allocated to PBNA in the partnership include extensive in-market promotional and fan activation opportunities – such as the right to conduct market-wide sweepstakes each year.
“We would like to extend a warm welcome to PepsiCo Beverages North America from the Southwestern Athletic Conference and its ten member institutions,” said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland. “PepsiCo is a brand that is synonymous with a high level of quality. PepsiCo is also synonymous with helping our communities and through this partnership we’re extremely excited to put these two iconic brands together.”
“This partnership is significant for the SWAC in a variety of ways, but one of the primary aspects of it that we’re most excited about is the expanded opportunities our students and student-athletes will have moving forward through internships and potential permanent employment. Aside from clearly serving as a catalyst towards advancing the brands of both entities, this relationship will also allow us a unique opportunity to significantly advance the personal brands of our student-athletes and their ability to make all of their career and professional development dreams come true.”
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $70 billion in net revenue in 2020, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Tropicana and SodaStream. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.
Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. “Winning with Purpose” reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of our business strategy and brands. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.
About the SWAC
The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is considered one of the premier HBCU conferences in the country and currently ranks among the elite in the nation in terms of HBCU alumni playing with professional sports teams.
Current championship competition offered by the league includes competition for men in Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field and Tennis. Women’s competition is offered in the sports of Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, Soccer, Softball, Tennis and Volleyball.
For complete coverage of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, please follow the SWAC on social media at @TheSWAC (Twitter), @TheSWAC (Facebook), and @TheSWAC (Instagram) or visit the official home of the Southwestern Athletic Conference at www.swac.org.
SOURCE PepsiCo Beverages North America