After two decades of being sponsored by Coca-Cola, the University decided this week to make Pepsi its official beverage company.
Coca-Cola has had a partnership with the University since 1997, which entails selling Coke products on campus (in vending machines, KU Dining operations, etc.), free products for some events and activities, and funding for scholarships and programming. The original contract was renewed in 2007, but that expired last Saturday, July 1.
Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, the director of News and Media Relations for the University, told the Kansan via email Friday that the University had selected Pepsi as its official beverage provider. She could not give any more information.
PepsiCo includes beverage brands like Pepsi, Gatorade, Mountain Dew and Naked juice. While the details of the partnership with the University are still being decided, other partnerships have included increased student scholarships, sustainability programs, career development opportunities and student programming. For Kansas State, which is also a Pepsi school after renewing its contract in 2015, the deal also means that Gatorade products are provided to their athletic programs.
Pepsi has been the brunt of some controversy earlier this year for its ad depicting a protest being stopped by model Kendall Jenner offering police a Pepsi. Many critics called the ad “tone deaf” and Pepsi pulled the ad with a public apology.
The Kansan reached out to both Pepsi and Coke for comments on Friday and did not immediately receive a response.