Coca-Cola speeds to track rights
Daytona Speedway is among the locales that will drop Pepsi products.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Coca-Cola Co. will take over exclusive soft drink and water marketing and pouring rights at 10 racetracks served by rival Pepsi by 2012 under a multimillion dollar deal announced Monday with International Speedway Corp.
The 10-year deal makes Coca-Cola’s brands the official soft drink, official sparkling beverage and official water for 10 of the 13 tracks owned or operated by ISC, including Daytona International Speedway, the venue for one of racing’s premier events, the Daytona 500.
Both Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and Purchase, N.Y.-based Pepsi bid for the agreement.
Several factors including price were involved in the selection of Coca-Cola, ISC spokesman Lenny Santiago said.
“Pepsi’s decision was to focus on other parts of its sports business, so we both decided to part ways,” Santiago said.
The deal with Coke is believed to be worth tens of millions of dollars, though Santiago declined to give an exact value.
Pepsi, which currently serves all 10 tracks, has been the official beverage company at Daytona for nearly 50 years.
The Pepsi 400 was run at the track Saturday.
Coca-Cola’s deal at the Daytona track starts in January.
“We have enjoyed a wonderful 50-year partnership with Daytona and we wish them the best in the future,” Pepsi spokeswoman Nicole Bradley said.
She said Pepsi, a division of PepsiCo Inc., remains committed to racing and will leverage its relationships with other racing figures and at the remaining tracks where it has marketing agreements in place.
Santiago said Pepsi still has marketing agreements in place with ISC tracks in Fontana, Calif., and Martinsville, Va., that allow Pepsi the right to negotiate extensions when those deals come up for renewal.
In addition to Daytona International Speedway, the Coca-Cola partnership with Daytona Beach, Fla.-based ISC beginning next year will include Chicagoland Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and Richmond International Speedway.
The relationship will extend to Darlington Raceway in 2009, Talladega Superspeedway and Watkins Glen International in 2011, and Phoenix International Raceway in 2012.
Coca-Cola officials said that under the agreement, its beverages will be served exclusively at the facilities by Americrown, ISC’s catering, concessions and merchandising subsidiary, and by other facility concessionaires. Coca-Cola’s North America unit plans to create programs featuring ISC properties at the tracks and elsewhere.