PepsiCo’s archrival Coca-Cola may be sinking $5 billion into India, but it is finding a different way of reaching the international market: the Super Bowl.
Pepsi sponsored the Super Bowl’s halftime show back in 2007 when Prince and the Florida A&M marching band took to the field to entertain the masses. Since then, Bridgestone has been the sponsor of the halftime show. Now comes word that the beverage maker is returning to that sponsorship position, according to USA Today.
It's a significant move given that Pepsi ditched the Super Bowl in 2010, after spending $33 million on Super Bowl advertising a year earlier, in order to dole out more than $20 million in grants to non-profits and community projects via crowdsourced philanthropy under its Pepsi Refresh program.
Pepsi's return to the Super Bowl, where it's been a major sponsor over the years, comes as something of a relief to the NFL and its broadcast partners following GM's recent announcement that it's skipping the 2013 Super Bowl (and Facebook) ads in order to focus on China by sponsoring Britain's Manchester United football club.
Sports Business Journal reported the motivation for Pepsi's return as halftime sponsor:
Driving the deal is Pepsi’s desire to link its sports and music platforms with the biggest sports event in America. The idea is a seasonlong music and sports platform that could be leveraged at retail throughout the season and would culminate in the usual Super Bowl halftime appearance by a major musical act. Since the NFL kicks off its season in New York City this year, Pepsi undoubtedly would be involved in concerts there as well.
While the halftime show sponsorship comes packaged with ads at the beginning and end of the show, Pepsi is a perennial sponsor on what is always America’s highest-rated telecast. Musicians endorsing Pepsi over the years have included Michael Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Ray Charles and Britney Spears. Pepsi has been an NFL sponsor since 2002, and is in the first year of a renewal that makes it an NFL marketing partner for the next 10 years.
Perhaps the Pepsi-sponsored 2013 Super Bowl half-time show will feature Katy Perry, given that Pepsi is already doing business with her and she kicked off its Summer Beats U.S. concert series this week, with a Tuesday night performance in Los Angeles. USA Today notes that the musical guest probably won’t be Nicki Minaj, even though she kicked off Pepsi's global "Live For Now" campaign, because she appeared in Madonna’s Bridgestone-sponsored Super Bowl halftime show this past February.
If you’re in Japan, you won’t have to wait for a little Pepsi excitement. The company is rolling out its new Pepsi EX Extra this week, which is about the same size as (and carries basically the same caffeine amount of) a cup of coffee.