Pepsi products would remain the “official soft drink of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln” and the “official soft drink of Nebraska Athletics” under the terms of a new contract to be presented to the Board of Regents at its Jan. 25 meeting.
LinPepCo Partnership, the Lincoln distributor for Pepsi, has held the beverage licensing rights for the university since July 1997. With its current 10-year contract expiring June 30, the university put the service up for new bids in 2018.
LinPepCo submitted a proposal expected to generate about $1.765 million per year, an increase of about 9 percent from its previous contract, which generated about $1.625 million per year. The Pepsi bid was chosen after review by an advisory group with representation from Business and Finance, Athletics, the Faculty Senate, Academic Affairs, University Housing, Student Affairs and student government.
“This partnership benefits our students with resources we would not have otherwise,” said Bill Nunez, interim vice chancellor for business and finance. “These are dollars we use to support student scholarships, undergraduate research, student affairs and admissions and recruitment efforts.”
Nunez said Pepsi has been a good long-term partner for the university. The Pepsi quasi-endowment established in 1997 provides support for undergraduate student research projects through UNL’s Undergraduate Creative and Research Experience (UCARE). The UCARE program supports UNL undergraduates to work one on one with faculty research advisers in research or creative activities.
“We value this partnership with UNL,” said LinPepCo CEO Kirk Anderson. “It is our belief at Pepsi that the entire state of Nebraska benefits greatly from strong universities and we’re committed to helping make sure that continues in the future.”
If approved by the Regents, the contract would provide exclusive pouring rights covering retail, fountain-dispensed and vending machine products for City and East Campuses, and university-owned and operated facilities at Nebraska Innovation Campus. Certain sponsorship rights in sports facilities where Husker teams play are included. The contract also covers snacks sold in vending machines and operation of the “Academic Grind,” a concession shop on the first floor of Oldfather Hall.
The terms of the agreement would allow Pepsi to use University trademarks to advertise and sell its beverages. The agreement also includes environmental sustainability requirements, such as recycling bottles and cans and using energy efficient refrigerated vending machines.