SBD/Issue 82/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Five For Fighting: NHL Skates Around Pepsi's Presence

While Coca-Cola's NHL sponsorship includes a presence at All-Star Weekend in St. Paul next month, Pepsi is a sponsor of some of the St. Paul Winter Carnival events, "including the highly touted sound-and-light show for the ice palace, which is being built across the street from" at Xcel Energy Center, according to Karl Karlson of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. There has been "substantial buzz in the city's public relations/advertising circles about tension between the league and the Winter Carnival, but that is denied in polite tones by officials on both sides." Karlson noted when the '01 All-Star Game was played at Denver's Pepsi Center, the NHL "decided not to print the arena's name on the game tickets," and when league officials scouted out places in Minneapolis/St. Paul for parties, "they looked at the Mall of America but raised concerns about all the Pepsi signs and displays." NHL Dir of Group & Special Events Frank Supovitz and Winter Carnival officials indicated that Pepsi's presence at the Ice Palace "has not changed the league's plans to give the carnival an undisclosed part of the ticket revenue from the" February 7 All-Star practice and five-day FANtasy event. Winter Carnival Communications Dir Angela Yender said that the organization "has been working well with the league and that their joint ventures, such as the NHL-sponsored ice rink within the Ice Castle, are going forward" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/16).

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