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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA kicks Pepsi for Coke

    UA kicks Pepsi for Coke

    The UA isn’t going to kick its new Coke habit anytime soon.

    Campus officials announced last Wednesday that the school has entered into a 10-year agreement with Coca-Cola, making it the UA’s exclusive beverage provider.

    The deal goes beyond more than soft drinks, said Susan Stribling, a spokesperson for Coca-Cola North America.

    “”We’re looking beyond providing beverages, “” she said. “”We’re willing to become involved in many different areas, from athletics to student unions. We’re willing to touch the campus in different places.””

    Among the most immediate changes will be new and improved vending machines. Coca-Cola is providing new vending machines that will accept UA meal plans via CatCard as well as Master Card and Visa Credit Cards.

    Coca-Cola will also provide funding for programs within the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, including the Accolades student recognition program that presents annual awards for outstanding students, faculty and organizations on campus. Coca-Cola will also underwrite the annual Freshman Convocation, a welcome ceremony for incoming freshmen.

    The deal also includes sponsorship elements that will be managed by Arizona Athletics, making Coca-Cola the official soft drink of the Arizona Wildcats, including retail promotions and stadium signage, campus officials said.

    “”This gives us a chance to form an impactful relationship,”” Stribling said. “”We’ve made a long term commitment to each other.””

    More specific details of Coke’s relationship with the UA are still being worked out, because the deal has just been signed, Stribling said.

    According to a statement released by the company, Coca-Cola was selected by the UA after a six-month review. The UA’s previous contract with Pepsi-Cola recently expired.

    Even though Coca-Cola is the world’s largest beverage distributor, the deal is not just another drop in the bucket for the soft drink giant. Universities are coveted marketplaces, similar to professional sports stadiums or them parks, Stribling said.

    “”Places that there is a regular group of people who have a connection to that place-places that people have an affinity for. To be able to be a part of that experience and enhance that experience, those are the places that we want to be,”” she said.

    The UA has been working with Coca-Cola Enterprises, as well as Pepsi-Cola to ensure a smooth transition. Coca-Cola should be on campus in full force by the time students arrive on campus for the fall semester, Stribling said.

    “”By the time students get on campus, we should have a very strong presence,”” she said.

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