Photographer: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Coca-Cola Replaces Pepsi as MLB Sponsor, Will Focus on Tech

  • Beverage giant signs multiyear deal to be official soft drink
  • Coca-Cola will connect with fans through apps, team sites

Coca-Cola Co. will replace PepsiCo Inc. as the official soft drink of Major League Baseball, aiming to use digital apps and social media to get more sway from the endorsement deal.

The beverage giant will embark on a multiyear partnership with the sports organization, according to a statement Monday. The deal lets Coca-Cola connect with fans through the various digital platforms operated by MLB, including the At Bat application, team sites and ballpark apps.

“It’s innovative,” said Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America, about the strategy. “It speaks to the total transformation across marketing towards digital and not just in-park and on traditional media, but now on the go,” he said at a press briefing.

Coca-Cola, based in Atlanta, already had sponsorship deals with 18 of the 30 teams in the big leagues. But rival PepsiCo had been the league’s nonalcoholic beverage of choice until this year. 

The Coca-Cola deal is a bet that both partners can use technology to promote the brand in new ways, Bob Bowman, president of business and media for MLB, said in the statement.

“The partnership is focused on looking forward and connecting Coca-Cola with our fans through digital, mobile and social,” he said.

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