One side is headquartered at the site of this year's Super Bowl. The other is an official sponsor for the NFL and the Super Bowl itself. How will this go?
Coke vs. Pepsi has always been a battle. Coke is bigger and is more popular worldwide than Pepsi, but Pepsi focuses a lot of their marketing in the United States. As a result, Pepsi has partnerships with the NFL, NHL and the MLB. Pepsi's most valuable sponsorship is with the NFL and specifically the Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl is the most-watched event on television every year which makes the commercial spots and other signage opportunities extremely valuable. Pepsi has sponsored the Super Bowl Halftime Show in previous years and almost always has a commercial or two. On the other hand, Coke usually has at least one commercial airing as well. This year, the showdown over the Super Bowl is at an all-time high.
Pepsi may be an official sponsor of the NFL and the Super Bowl, but this year the game is in the same city as the headquarters of Coke. Not only that, but Coke's museum is less than half a mile away from Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the game will be played. The battle will come down to the NFL and Pepsi's activation strength and Coke's ability in ambush marketing.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium already serves Coke products and they will for the big game, but the NFL is not allowing any Coke signs inside the stadium. In the past, the NFL has heavily protected the area immediately surrounding the site of the game. However, they have publicly said they will not do anything to cover Coke's museum next door. Also, Pepsi and Coke have been very kind to each other publicly and making light of this situation.
Pepsi even delivered a statue of their founder and placed it directly in front of Coke's statue of their founder in front of the museum. This is acting as a truce for the week and you can see the picture below. Despite both parties being rivals, they are showing the battle can be fought lightheartedly.
Pay close attention to the Pepsi and Coke Super Bowl commercials as the battle will continue to rage on. Let us know what you think of this situation and if you prefer Pepsi or Coke.
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Written by: James Campbell
James Campbell is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan with his B.A. in Sport Management. Throughout his time at Michigan, he has worked with Detroit City FC, MiLife Sport & Social Club, and USA Hockey. - @Jimmy10Campbell