PepsiCo and NFL Kick Off Winning Season

9/5/2013 |
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OFFICIAL SPONSORS OF THE NFL

For three decades the National Football League (NFL) has been among PepsiCo’s most successful sports sponsorship, helping the company connect with athletes and fans by enhancing their experiences in an authentic and powerful way.

In 2007, for example, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division leveraged the power of the NFL, and the cultural significance and global reach of the Super Bowl, to create a promotion that invited fans to make their own Doritos television commercials and enter them for a chance to air during the Super Bowl.

The promotion, called Crash the Super Bowl, was a spectacular success. And every year since 2007 the contest has grown more popular with consumers and fans, resulting in greater participation, viewer interest and media coverage.

“Crash the Super Bowl has become synonymous with great-tasting Doritos products, Super Bowl advertising and the popular culture,” said Ram Krishnan, vice president of marketing, Frito-Lay North America.

“It engages consumers and fans by enhancing events that are ingrained into their lifestyles -- NFL football and the Super Bowl,” he said.

Frito-Lay’s relationship with the NFL is not unique within PepsiCo.

This year PepsiCo’s NFL activations will include popular food and beverage brands Pepsi, Gatorade, Tostitos, Quaker, Tropicana, Aquafina and Sabra.

A Powerful Platform

The NFL is the most popular sport in the United States with more than 185 million fans. Women make up 45 percent of the NFL’s fan base.

The League enjoys considerable brand strength, which benefits its sponsors. According to an ESPN poll, 49 percent of those surveyed said they tried a product because of its NFL sponsorship.

The Super Bowl, as a cultural and media event, is “in a league of its own.”

Last year Super Bowl XLVII was broadcast in more than 180 countries and attracted 164.5 million viewers in the United States, setting the record for the most-watch television program (and the most watched across all demographic audiences).

“The power of the NFL for PepsiCo is that it helps us grow our business,” said Jennifer Storms, senior vice president of PepsiCo Sports Marketing. “Through our sponsorships, we help bring the NFL experience to life and increase fan enjoyment, from the NFL draft through the Super Bowl.”

“Sports is a huge growth engine for PepsiCo,” said Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo chairman and CEO. “The breadth of our portfolio allows us to connect with sports fans everywhere, from the field, where our Gatorade products fuel athletes’ performance, to the stadium, where we create excitement with brands like Pepsi and Lay’s, to the supermarket and sports parties, where brands like Tostitos and Doritos are must-haves.”

PepsiCo Brand Sponsorship Activations

As the official soft drink of the NFL, Pepsi leverages a long-standing relationship with the League and 15 individual team deals to engage fans and stay at the center of pop culture.

This season Pepsi is taking its partnership with the NFL to a new level with a trademark approach that celebrates the fan passion that fuels the game. The campaign “Are You Fan Enough?” includes activations that span the entire trademark -- Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi MAX and Pepsi NEXT -- and are designed to amplify the fan experience by providing unique experiences and engagement opportunities to bring them closer to the teams, players and game they love.

The fan-centric activations begin with the NFL Kickoff 2013 presented by Pepsi in Baltimore and will continue throughout the season to drive excitement for the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show at MetLife Stadium in February 2014.

The Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show is the most-watched musical event of the year. In 2013 more than 100 million viewers in the U.S. tuned in to see Beyoncé perform and Pepsi’s crowd-sourced Super Bowl halftime show introduction earned the brand the distinction of being the most talked-about Super Bowl advertiser on social media.

PepsiCo’s NFL sponsorships are popular with the company’s retail customers who benefit from our team-specific, point-of-sale displays that connect with local fans, generate consumer excitement and drive sales.

Just recently, Pepsi and Frito-Lay’s Tostitos – two staples of any successful game-day activity – launched the “Get Fired Up!” consumer engagement campaign to “awaken the shopper’s inner fan.”

The campaign includes local market activations using more than 40,000 product displays and in-store advertising, many customized with local team logos and colors. The campaign runs from kickoff through the Super Bowl.

“We’re connecting with fans through a local passion point – their hometown teams,” said Jennifer Storms. “And the excitement we bring to the retail market also helps ensure that our products are displayed in high-traffic locations, helping to move our products and generate sales.”

Such a massive, localized undertaking is made possible by PepsiCo’s powerful go-to-market system, which operates more than 100,000 routes and serves approximately ten million outlets every week.

PepsiCo’s Sabra Dipping Company is kicking off its first NFL season as the League’s Official Dips Sponsor.

"We are thrilled to team Sabra hummus, America's new favorite dip, with America's favorite fall past time – football," said Ken Kunze, Sabra Dipping Company’s chief marketing officer. "From tailgating outside stadiums to living rooms across the country, our aim is to make Sabra hummus a game day must have and to help fans dip life to the fullest this season.”

Frito-Lay’s Tostitos brand is partnering with retailers to launch the Tostitos QB Matchup, in which fans get to choose the quarterback they believe will throw for more yards in the Monday Night Football games throughout the season.  When they do, they'll be rewarded with high value coupon offers, discounts and have a chance to win weekly prizes.  Participants can make their selections each week at tostitosqbmatchup.com. The company will advertise the program on ESPN.com and NFL.com.

Gatorade, which has been an official partner of the NFL since 1983, co-produced with NFL Films, the documentary-style film, “RGIII: The Will to Win.” The film is about Gatorade roster athlete and Washington Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III’s journey through this past offseason following a knee injury where his will to win drove his passion to return to the field. The film was first aired prior to the NFL season kickoff and film excerpts will be shown on SportsCenter, NFL Live, Monday Night Countdown and other programs. Gatorade has sponsorships with all 32 NFL teams.

“Gatorade is on the sidelines of every team fueling its athletes,” said Storms. “It’s in every locker room and training facility, and at every summer camp. It’s part of the fabric of NFL football.”

The Quaker Oats Company, a division of PepsiCo, launched its first NFL sponsorship during the 2012-13 football season as the Official Hot Cereal of the NFL. The partnership was a natural fit, bringing together two iconic, trusted brands with a shared goal of promoting wholesome food and physical activity. Additionally, Quaker enlisted NFL rookie quarterback, Andrew Luck, as spokesperson to help motivate families to practice healthy habits.

As an NFL sponsor, Quaker supported NFL Play 60, a program dedicated to youth wellness by encouraging at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. The NFL Play 60 Super Bowl Contest presented by Quaker asked kids (with parental permission) to share how they help power their play with nourishing foods and exercise. The winner was sent to Super Bowl XLVII and ran the game ball onto the field.

This year, Quaker will continue the relationship with Andrew Luck and help fuel healthy families through support of Fuel Up to Play 60, the nation’s largest in-school wellness and physical activity program. Quaker will distribute approximately 17,000 in-store displays co-branded with Quaker, the NFL and Fuel Up to Play 60.

“Our NFL sponsorships allow our brands, like Quaker, to integrate professional football in ways that are authentic and natural,” said Storms. “And it helps put our products on the field, in the stands, at the tailgate parties and in the homes of football fans everywhere.”