Chicago Bears drop Coke, pick Dr Pepper
BY SANDRA GUY Business Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org April 17, 2012 4:32PM
Chicago Bears fans won’t find their usual Coke soft drinks at the concession stands this season. Instead, they’ll get choices of RC Cola, Dr Pepper, 7 UP, A&W root beer and other beverages supplied by the Bears’ new exclusive soft-drink sponsor.
A Bears spokesman called it a “business decision” to drop the team’s decades-long partnership with Coca-Cola — believed to date back to Wrigley Field days — for the Plano, Texas-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group. No financial figures were disclosed.
Spokesman Chris Hibbs says the switch has less to do with money than giving game-goers greater variety — concession stands will sport eight flavors rather than six — and Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s willingness to invest in new kinds of retail and in-stadium marketing, including opening a Dr Pepper Patio next to the new pro shop where fans can hang out and watch game highlights on a giant video screen and eat and drink new concession goodies. One idea is a portable drink station with all of Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s beverages, including Diet Rite cola, Canada Dry, Hawaiian Punch, Country Time lemonade, Squirt citrus drink and Yoo-Hoo Chocolate.
Fans are prohibited from bringing their own soda pop into the stadium.