Fans at Chicago Bears games next season will see a new lineup of soft-drink choices, as Dr Pepper Snapple Group becomes the exclusive soft-drink sponsor of the Bears.
That means Coca-Cola products at Soldier Field for the 2012 season will be replaced by such choices as Dr Pepper, RC Cola and 7 Up.
The seven-year sponsorship deal with DPSG has been in the works since last summer and will be officially announced in the next few days, Chris Hibbs, Bears vice president of sales and marketing, confirmed Monday.
The switch was partly about money. “DPSG came strong from financial investment perspective,” Hibbs said. But Bears officials were also impressed with all the different ways DPSG officials wanted to work together on promotions. “It was an overall vibe from them that was very collaborative,” Hibbs said. “They were hyper-creative.”
The dollar value of the deal is not being released, he said.
Coca-Cola had been the soft-drink partner for at least two decades, Hibbs said. “We just made a business decision to go a different direction,” he said. “It’s not because of anything they did wrong.”
The new sponsor will get a designated area at the south end of Soldier Field, likely to be named Dr Pepper Patio, as a fan-gathering spot. The deal is less about money the Dr Pepper group will make from soft-drink sales at the stadium and more about the exclusive affiliation with the Bears, including broad rights to use Bears trademarks, Hibbs said.
At Soldier Field in 2012, fans will have the choice of eight soft drinks instead of the six previously offered, Hibbs said.
The deal was first reported by SportsBusiness Daily.