Pepsi Says It Will Stick With Penn State Sponsorship

Pepsi Says It Will Stick With Penn State Penn State's profile is growing more radioactive, but the university can at least rest easy that it still has a soda to call its own.

Pepsi on Wednesday said it will remain a sponsor of the school and its football team. "We are very concerned about the current allegations surrounding certain individuals at Penn State University, but will continue to honor our longstanding relationship," a company spokesman wrote in an email to a DailyFinance reporter.

Pepsi has been one of the university's largest corporate partners, and is ubiquitous on Penn State's main State College campus and 20 satellites. In its original deal with the school in 1992, Pepsico (PEP) paid Penn State $14 million over 10 years for exclusive vending and advertising rights. Details of the renewal were not available, but the soda maker's commitment is apparent. Pepsi vending machines are spread throughout the campus. Soft drinks are served in Pepsi cups on game day. And the signage is anchored by a permanent Pepsi logo on the scoreboard of the 106,537-seat football stadium.

The cola manufacturer's disclosure that it's still on Penn State's team should come as refreshing news to the school: Its endorsement portfolio faces a potentially massive exodus in the wake of the scandal. Cars.com pulled advertising from an ESPN telecast of Penn State's loss to Nebraska last Saturday, and Sherwin-Williams, the paint company, removed its logo from the banner that hangs during Penn State press conferences.

The status of other advertisers remains uncertain. A spokesperson for the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Conn., told DailyFinance on Wednesday that the casino's deal with Penn State football "technically" ended for the year, but said they would call back with an update. DailyFinance did not hear back. DailyFinance also contacted Penn State sponsors AT&T (T), Berks Hot Dogs and Chesapeake Energy (CHK), and did not receive any response as of deadline.

Other high-profile sponsors such as Chevrolet, PNC Financial, John Deere, State Farm Insurance and the American Red Cross are staying put for now, ABC News already reported, as is the team's outfitter, Nike. (The latter is being pressured to rename its Joe Paterno Child Development Center on its Beaverton, Ore., campus, Forbes.com wrote.)

A spokesman for Weis Markets told DailyFinance that the chain will continue its sponsorship, and that it hoped the school's "top priority will be addressing the needs of the victims."

None of the above, however, is now listed as a sponsor on Penn State's athletics website. The page reads "Penn State Athletics would like to thank its Corporate Partners for their support" but is otherwise blank. One company spokeswoman said she believed the university removed the names on its own. A Penn State spokesman said that Associate Athletic Director Greg Myford would comment later.

Penn State football generates $53 million in revenue annually, CNN reported, and the entire athletic program receives an additional $24 million in sponsorships and merchandising deals. Pepsi's contribution is significant for a school that is looking to gain any victories it can as dark clouds descend on it for unprecedented systemic failures of oversight -- if the accusations are true. Former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse involving eight boys, including the rape of a 10-year-old in the locker room shower. Another assistant witnessed the act and told Coach Joe Paterno, who informed school officials. No school administrator -- including Paterno and President Graham Spanier -- told the police. Both lost their jobs. Two other administrators, Athletic Director Tim Curley and school Vice President Gary Schultz, face perjury charges of lying to a grand jury about their knowledge of the incidents.


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139 Comments

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heavybe229

Greg; You are a hypocrite,with an agenda.

November 19 2011 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Greg

Well, no more Pepsi for me. In fact, no more college football teams anywhere will get my money. I'm sickened that any college would put their football program ahead of the well-being of childrem.

And, just for good measure, I'm listing all sponsors of all college football games over the weekend and delisting them from my shopping list.

If all I have left is fresh fruit and vegetables to eat, then fine, I need to eat healthier anyway. And as far as I'm concerned, anyone buying a Pepsi product is supporting child abuse.

November 18 2011 at 3:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hgeorgech

Penn State is now more accurately dubbed State Penn ... Pepsi, wake up .. distance yourself from this - it's bad for your image!

November 18 2011 at 10:48 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to hgeorgech's comment
Greg

@hg, yep, it is bad for their image. I'm shocked that Pepsi didn't run screaming from State Penn.

November 18 2011 at 3:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dief859

It is by no means Pepsi's fault, and anyways why should one man"s actions cause the adbandonment of an entire university that has educated a countless number of crucial, well educated, and fine standing indivuals whom aid in many upright and funtional societies. Bravo, Pepsico, for doing this.

November 18 2011 at 3:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
beastiejamminjay

Now I knew that Pepsi was a choice of a new generation, I just had no idea that they would support a School who lets a Pedophile coach for them. I admit that Pepsi never molested a kid. It is just another reason for me not to drink Pepsi. I understand that I shouldn't get mad at Pepsi Co. or anything but now I know why I drink Coca-Cola over Pepsi. I am happy that I drink Coca-Cola.

November 18 2011 at 2:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steven Mackey

We have finally reached the culmination of years of shunning personal responsibility. It isn't enough that we punish the guy that committed the crime, but we also have to punish the fans, players and students. Anyone giving flack over companies and organizations sticking with the university, I can't wait to lynch you, your wife and children for the actions of your next door neighbor.

November 18 2011 at 1:57 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Steven Mackey's comment
dief859

dead on sir, bravo

November 18 2011 at 3:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RON

Hey kid, I'll meet you in the locker room with a Pepsi can. mmm mmm mmm

November 18 2011 at 12:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Santa

I am proud of Pepsi for staying with the young men of Penn State. The students are not the molesters nor are they responsible for the crimes commited by the leaders of the school. Good job Pepsico

November 18 2011 at 12:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rockymtnal

Didn't even know Pepsi was a Penn State sponsor, and don't care. It's what I drink. I don't buy it because their name is on a stadium, a sports jersey, or a race car; I drink it because I like the taste.

November 17 2011 at 11:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Debbie

Thank You Pepsi. 1 horrible man brought down this University but we will stay strong. Thanks for backing us up.

November 17 2011 at 10:23 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Debbie's comment
Bob & Tammy

It's more than one man who brought down this University. It was a culture that allowed his behavior to continue and people looked the other way. All for the all mighty buck and notariety .

November 18 2011 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Greg

@Debbie, ONE horrible man? There were numerous, and very influtential and powerful men, who allowed this abuse to continue.

For shame on this college and their football team. It's just pitiful.

November 18 2011 at 3:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply