NBA and PepsiCo extend high-profile partnership
North American basketball’s NBA has renewed its prominent marketing partnership with PepsiCo, the soft drinks and snack foods giant.
Under a multi-year extension, the brand will continue as the official exclusive food and beverage partner of the NBA, the G-League and the Women’s WNBA.
The deal renews a tie-up between the two parties signed in 2015 that was due to expire this year.
PepsiCo, which replaced rival Coca-Cola, will continue to use partnership to promote its Mountain Dew, Aquafina, Brisk, Doritos and Ruffles brands.
Soft drink Mountain Dew, which will remain as the lead brand in the tie-up, will continue to serve as the title sponsor of the three-point contest that forms part of the league’s All-Star festivities, beginning with next Sunday's event.
As part of the new agreement, Ruffles is now the title partner for the All-Star Celebrity Game, which will not be held this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and will air its first television commercial in over a decade during the All-Star Game featuring Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis.
The potato chip brand has also signed a new endorsement deal with Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics.
PepsiCo has been a long-time sponsor of the NBA through its Gatorade brand, the league’s longest-serving partner.
Elsewhere in US sport, the brand has deals with American football’s NFL and ice hockey’s NHL.
The agreement with the NBA represents another major renewal for PepsiCo after it recently prolonged its sponsorship of the Uefa Champions League, European soccer’s top clubs competition, for a further three years until 2024.
Meanwhile, the WNBA has officially ratified the sale of the Atlanta Dream to a three-member investment group.
The group consists of Larry Gottesdiener and Suzanne Abair, the chairman and chief operating officer, respectively, of real estate firm Northland, and former Dream player Renee Montgomery.
The deal was agreed with former US senator Kelly Loeffler and her partner Mary Brock, who co-owned the franchise since 2011.
Loeffler, a Republican who was recently unseated by her Democrat opponent Raphael Warnock in a special election, came under fire from players on the team during the election campaign.
Team members had attacked her position on various social justice issues over the course of last year, and called for her to step down or be removed from her position.
There had initially been no indication from Loeffler that she was planning on selling her stake in the Dream, which have played in the WNBA since 2008, but she ultimately bowed to the pressure.
Two-time WNBA champion Montgomery is the first former player to become both an owner and executive of an WNBA team.
She sat out the 2020 season to focus on social justice issues and recently announced her retirement from the league after 11 seasons.
The Dream finished in 10th place in the 2020 campaign, missing out on the playoffs as a result.