Pepsi Replaces Coca-Cola as Official NBA Marketing Partner

Pepsi will take over the food and drink program of the National Basketball Association

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

In North America, Mountain Dew will be the lead soft drink brand. 

PepsiCo Inc. is slated to replace Coca-Cola as the official marketing partner of the National Basketball association, in a deal that also includes the Women's NBA, NBA Development League, and USA Basketball, Pepsi confirmed Monday, April 13.

The deal will end the NBA’s partnership with Coca-Cola of nearly three decades, beginning in 1986.

As part of the new deal, Mountain Dew will become the organization’s lead soft drink brand in the United States and Canada. Other Pepsi brands, including Aquafina, Lipton Brisk, Doritos, and Ruffles, will also be promoted at NBA games and events.

In China, Pepsi will partner with a local company called Tingyi, which produces a beverage called Master Kong.

Although its contract with the NBA has ended, Coca-Cola will continue its relationships with individual venues, teams, and players. Just last month, Lebron James announced a limited-edition flavor of Sprite, a brand in the Coca-Cola portfolio.

In a statement, Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi called the partnership “a slam dunk for the league and for our company.”

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