Basketball fans will find themselves switching from Pepsi to Coke when a remodeled Ford Center reopens this fall.
Pepsi secured pouring rights for five years with five one-year options when the arena opened in 2002. The deal, which was split 85 percent for the city and 15 percent for the arena operator SMG, was valued at $1 million when it was announced in 2001.
The arrival of the NBA Thunder included a transfer of pouring rights to the team, which has signed a multiyear partnership with Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Oklahoma City.
"I’m very pleased the Coca-Cola Company and Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company have joined the Oklahoma City Thunder family of partners,” Thunder Vice President of Business Development John Croley said. "Coca-Cola is one of the most recognized brands in the world.”
Team representatives declined to reveal the deal’s terms. Croley said the deal includes opportunities for branding and marketing.
"Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Oklahoma City and the Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta are proud to partner with the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Basketball team,” said Robert Browne, chairman and chief executive officer of Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Co.
"Promoting together, along with other local and national partners, we look forward to building community awareness and enthusiasm for the NBA in Oklahoma. We are very excited about the future opportunities this partnership will bring.”