SBJ/March 11-17, 2013/Facilities

Pepsi rises to founding-partner status with Blues

The St. Louis Blues have signed a five-year renewal with Pepsi that elevates it to a founding partner.

The renewal is a three-way agreement among the Blues, Scottrade Center and the Peabody Opera House, a 3,500-seat theater next door to the arena. Pepsi has had exclusive soda pouring rights at Scottrade Center since the 19,150-seat building opened in 1994.

Pepsi holds a spot on the Blues’ Scottrade Center.
ST. LOUIS BLUES
Pepsi’s upgraded deal is valued in the mid- to high six figures annually, and it extends to naming rights for destinations at the arena and the opera house.

At Scottrade Center, the Pepsi Plaza, a 6,000-square-foot party deck, is a newly branded location in the upper deck at the arena’s east end. The concourse space has a bar, high-top tables and televisions overhead.

This is the first time it has had a sponsor attached with theming of the area, said Eric Stisser, the team’s senior vice president of corporate sponsorship.

In addition, the agreement covers the Pepsi Encore Ballroom, an event space at the opera house, which is co-owned by Blues owner Tom Stillman. The venue opened as the Kiel Opera House in 1934, then closed in 1991 and reopened in 2011 after an $80 million renovation.

It now plays host to 100 concerts and Broadway shows annually. The Blues use the ballroom occasionally to entertain their fans, Stisser said.

Pepsi also gets a new LED marquee sign on the arena’s exterior and its logo on the back of Blues game tickets. In turn, the arena and the opera house receive exposure on the back of about 100 Pepsi delivery trucks roaming the streets of St. Louis.

The terms of the agreement also call for greater activation for the Aquafina Junior Blue Note Kids Club, an affinity program, Stisser said.

The deal closed about nine months after the Blues and Pepsi shook hands in August on a renewal that did not become official until the NHL lockout was resolved in January, Stisser said.

The Blues have also renewed deals with Verizon, Ford, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, PNC Bank, McDonald’s and Walgreens.

Pepsi joins Scottrade, Verizon and Bud Light as founding partners.

Keith Melaragno, a Pepsi vice president based in Chicago who was involved in the Blues deal, did not return phone messages for comment.

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