PepsiCo, the National Hockey League (NHL) and its players’ association (NHLPA) have announced a multi-year extension of their North American partnership.
The previous contract, which expires at the end of the 2022/23 season, was worth between US$10 million and US$15 million per year, according to SportBusiness. Financial terms of the renewal were not disclosed and it should be noted that the sports drink brand category previously filled by Gatorade is not part of the extended partnership.
PepsiCo will, however, maintain exclusive North American rights in the carbonated soft drinks, water, energy drinks and savoury snack categories.
Kyle McMann, the NHL’s senior vice president of North American business development, told Sports Business Journal (SBJ) that a new partner in the sports drink category will be announced after the Stanley Cup final and that deal, coupled with the PepsiCo renewals, will put the league “well ahead” financially of where it was under the previous contract.
“The fact that Pepsi is continuing to partner with us on carbonated, water and the savoury snack group really speaks volumes to the value that the NHL can deliver to the business,” McMann said. “I won’t break news, but we’re very happy with where we landed.”
The NHL said its long-running partner will continue to offer ‘innovative’ activations, as well as securing increased exclusivity around promotional opportunities. Strategic customer marketing and partnerships are also part of the agreement.
NHL tentpole events, including All-Star weekend, the Winter Classic, Stadium Series, Heritage Classic and the Global Series, are also included, with each marquee element including a unique activation asset.
PepsiCo will also retain digital platform inventory on league-operated media channels, with the NHLPA element of the deal allowing the company’s brands to continue using players in activations and marketing efforts.
“We’re thrilled to extend our long-standing partnership with the NHL and NHLPA allowing us to celebrate hockey fans and the sport they love throughout North America,” said Justin Toman, PepsiCo’s senior director, sports marketing.
“Building on our legacy, our brands will continue to generate dynamic programming that takes the fan experience to new heights, especially at some of the most exciting points in the season including tentpole NHL events and the Stanley Cup playoffs.”