Utah State U. signs contract with Coca-Cola

By By U Wire

By U Wire

LOGAN, Utah?A new 12-year contract for Coke allowing them to be the exclusive beverage provider for the Utah State University campus will generate $6 million of new money for the university each year.

Students at USU can expect to see all Pepsi vending machines on campus exchanged for Coke starting Dec. 10, said Steve Jenson, director of Housing and Food Services.

“We believe this is going to be a great thing for the university with benefits for students both directly and indirectly,” Jenson said.

Coke products will be replacing all Pepsi products everywhere on campus except for in The Quick Stop in the Taggart Student Center where different types, including Pepsi, will be available, said Fred Hunsaker, the vice president for administrative services.

“One critical point [in the contract] was to maintain both choices at The Quick Stop so people have an option,” Jenson said.

Also, the Cafe Ibis will continue to serve its regular products and not experience a change, Jenson said.

Research into the new contract began six months ago in anticipation of the expiration of the old contract with Pepsi, he said.

The new contract is for four times the amount offered by Pepsi, Hunsaker said. The contract includes guaranteed payments of $3.8 million a year and an estimated $2.4 million in commissions.

“This is a very positive thing. The university needs more resources to meet its many demands. This is clearly new money. That is a significant issue. We’re not just taking money from one pocket and putting it in another pocket. That’s where the significance comes,” Hunsaker said.

This money will go to the areas that need it the most initially, Hunsaker said. Some will go toward scholarships, academic programs as designated by the provost’s office and upgrading facilities like the Carousel Square and the Junction.

Also, an upgrade with the scoreboard and sound system in the Smith Spectrum next year will give more opportunities for sponsorship and marketing, which will in turn generate more funds for student-athletes, in particular for reinstatement of a women’s basketball program, Hunsaker said.

“Six million is a sizable sum. It just doesn’t do everything we need, but it is a sizable amount,” Hunsaker said.

Coke feels this is very good for them and for the university, said Terry Johnson, a sales center manager.

“USU is a huge icon to the valley. Coca-Cola always gets involved in community events and wants to be involved with the youth. It’s a good way to be in the community and involved with all the events,” Johnson said.

Johnson said with this new contract, Coke is also going to try and help the college combine more with the community to help bring revenue to the university.

“We can use our presence as the world’s most recognized trademark to help tie in with other people to help the university,” Johnson said.

Johnson said Coke will be offering a wide range of products at USU, including new products and flavors.

Products offered will include: Carbonated beverages like Coke, Sprite, Dr Pepper and Barq’s root beer; fruit juices; energy drinks like KMX; energy drinks like Poweraid; bottled water like Dasani; lemonade, Minute Maid; fruit punches and other non-carbonated drinks, according to a list provided by Housing.

“We’re always introducing new flavors and packages to accommodate the public,” Johnson said.