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NBA drops Coke, signs up Pepsi as exclusive beverage

15 April 2015

PepsiCo Inc has replaced Coca-Cola as the National Basketball Association's beverage, drawing the curtain on NBA's 28-year relationship with Coke.

According to Pepsi it had the branding power to showcase over 20 products to the NBA, including, Pepsi and Mountain Dew beverages, Lay's potato chips, Doritos, Tropicana and Gatorade sports drinks that had served as an advertising partner for over 30 years.

"Gatorade is woven into the fabric of the NBA," Pepsi Co CEO Indra Nooyi said at the joint press conference with the NBA in New York on Monday. "Now, we will bring our other brands into the league."

"We look forward to offering the NBA an all-access pass into everything our company has to offer."

The greatest beneficiary of the partnership might prove to be Mountain Dew.

The soft drink would sponsor 3-on-3 tournaments in six cities across the country, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced. The NBA would also partner with PepsiCo's Aquafina to sponsor a wellness initiative aimed at improving the health and well-being of youngsters in its Junior NBA programme.

Shares in Pepsi Co retreated slightly by 0.67 or 0.70 per cent to 95.53 on Monday.

The Pepsi - NBA deal, which is reportedly worth significantly more than the previous partnership with Coca-Cola in terms of the overall investment, would also extend to the Women's National Basketball Association, NBA Development League and USA Basketball.

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