Dr Pepper Signs Seven-Year Deal Worth $3M Annually To Become Bears' Soft Drink Partner
Dr Pepper Snapple Group has signed a seven-year deal to become the Bears' new official and exclusive soft drink partner. The deal is at the Bears' top HOF partner level. This is the first NFL exclusive for Dr Pepper Snapple, which shares the Cowboys with Pepsi, and the company will activate with lead brands Dr Pepper and RC Cola. RC Cola will also entitle the Bears training camp. Dr Pepper Snapple replaces Coca-Cola, which has been poured at Soldier Field for so long that the team has no records of when that relationship began. The company is generally heavy in college sponsorship assets. "They were aggressive in going after this and from what we have seen, they will be even more aggressive taking it to market," said Bears VP/Sales & Marketing Chris Hibbs. Snapple products will also be available in Soldier Field. The beverage maker will support with retail promotions and significant buys across Bears media partners, along with an outdoor campaign (Terry Lefton, THE DAILY). In Chicago, Danny Ecker cited sources as saying that the deal is worth $3M annually. The Bears "plan to open a new 'Dr Pepper Patio' this season in the south stands of Soldier Field." The new area will "include live entertainment, new food and beverage options and a lounge area among other amenities." Hibbs said that the team had "no intention of leaving Coca-Cola after its most recent contract with the beverage giant ended in February, but Dr Pepper's strong demographic impact in Chicago made it a good fit." Dr Pepper Snapple Group Corporate Communications Manager Chris Barnes said that "detailed advertising plans are still in the works" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 4/16).