Pepsi becomes the official soft drink of the UEFA Champions League.
PepsiCo has become the latest global partner of the UEFA Champions League, and the competition's first in the soft drinks category. The U.S. food and beverage corporation formally announced the deal on Tuesday. PepsiCo will use its Lay's, Gatorade and Pepsi brands to lead its association with the European club football competition. All three brands will receive Champions League rights, intellectual property association, tickets and hospitality, according to a source with knowledge of the deal. Sideline LED signage is also included for all three brands, depending on the market. Other PepsiCo brands such as Doritos, Lipton and 7UP will also be featured over the course of the partnership, which is set to take effect on July 1. The source told SBD Global that the three-year deal has an annual value in the mid-to-high eight figures. The relationship with the Champions League is PepsiCo's biggest major global deal in Europe. The source said that the deal, which was negotiated by UEFA's commercial partner TEAM Marketing, "happened fairly quickly within the last six months." A big element of the deal will be broadcast sponsorship across different global markets, with a focus on Europe. It will be similar to what Heineken is currently doing in the U.S. during game broadcasts, the source said. An estimated global TV audience of 180 million in more than 200 territories tuned in to see Barcelona beat Juventus 3-1 in Saturday's Champions League final, according to UEFA figures. The Champions League joins the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, Indian Premier League and Int'l Cricket Council on PepsiCo's list of sports league partners. The PepsiCo announcement is the sixth of eight Champions League partner packages for the '15-18 rights cycle, with the remaining two to be announced in the next several weeks.