Titans hit field for TCF Bank Stadium battle: Coke vs. Pepsi

  • Article by: MIKE KASZUBA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 17, 2012 - 10:37 PM
hide

TCF Bank Stadium

Photo: Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Minnesota Vikings and the University of Minnesota are playing their own version of Coke vs. Pepsi -- with millions of dollars at stake.

As the Vikings negotiate to use the school's TCF Bank Stadium during construction of a new professional stadium, one of the sticking points is the university's 10-year agreement making Coca-Cola the exclusive soft drink on campus. The Vikings have an agreement with Pepsi, and the National Football League also has an agreement with Gatorade -- which is owned by Pepsi -- to have "Gatorade-logoed coolers, cups and towels" on the sidelines of all NFL games.

The university has had Coke as its exclusive soft drink since 1996, and the latest 104-page contract features an "approved cup design" and lists more than 300 Coke vending machine locations on the Twin Cities campus alone.

"The beverage issue is very important to the NFL and to the Vikings," said Mark Rotenberg, the university's general counsel. "They say that they have Pepsi, and we say we have Coke."

With the Vikings needing to use the campus stadium for at least a year while the team's new stadium is built, the team and the school are racing to reach a solution by fall.

Coke spokesman Kevin Morris said the outcome is clear -- Coke will be sold at Vikings games at TCF Bank Stadium. "Our assumption is that our products would be served during those games," said Morris, the vice president for public affairs and communications for Coca-Cola Midwest.

The Vikings said there is time to work out a compromise, though an initial letter of intent with the U will be void if a final agreement -- including a resolution of the Coke vs. Pepsi issue -- is not reached by Aug. 31. The letter of intent left the Gatorade issue unresolved but says that the Vikings cannot "serve or sell, distribute, dispense, advertise or promote" any beverage on campus in violation of the school's existing contracts.

"Pepsi's been a longtime and strong sponsor of Viking football, and we are proud of that relationship," said Lester Bagley, the team's vice president for public affairs and stadium development. "We've got some time to sort [it] out."

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy likewise said there are ways to resolve the problem, and said that the Atlanta Falcons -- Coke is headquartered in Atlanta -- have a business deal with Coke and yet Gatorade has been featured on the sidelines at Falcons home games for more than two decades. "Gatorade has a 'game-day' presence in all [NFL] stadiums, regardless of local club-stadium sponsorship, or pouring deals," he said.

The university's Coke contract says that Gatorade can be dispensed to athletes in "nonpublic spaces" on campus as long as it is in "nonbranded containers." But the contract also says that the university "shall not grant advertising, marketing or promotional rights for Gatorade products" on campus.

Details of the U's contract

The university's Coke contract, which is worth more than $14 million to the school, binds the school and the soft drink giant on many levels.

In addition to the basic $14million contract, the school gets a $4.9 million sponsorship fee so that Coke can have a major marketing presence at athletic events, and up to 10 freshman students selected by Coke receive $5,000 scholarships annually. Should Coke also sell the school at least 60,000 cases of "nonvending beverages" a year, the school gets 83 cents per case, or $49,800. The school also receives a vending commission guaranteed to be at least $750,000 a year.

Coke, of course, also benefits. The company gets a sign on the main TCF Bank Stadium scoreboard, tickets and paid travel to football and men's basketball and hockey away games, free rounds of golf at the school's golf course and the use of Williams Arena, Mariucci Arena and TCF Bank Stadium once a year for a company outing.

Other perks for the company include a 16-person suite at TCF Bank Stadium for all football games, 12 season tickets for men's basketball games and a VIP reception for 60 people at football, basketball and hockey games. Coke also gets full-page color ads on the back cover of game programs for most of the school's major sports.

Not out of the ordinary

School and Coke officials said the arrangement is typical of other large contracts at the school. Morris, who said he has helped oversee the contract, said Coke had similar, exclusive agreements with most Big Ten schools except for Penn State, Michigan State and Wisconsin.

The free golf at the university, Morris joked, is something that "I never got to enjoy."

Rotenberg said that the university has given Coke nothing that other large vendors have not also received and that the school did not compromise its standards in doing so.

"Coke is not unique in that way," he said. "If we can offer them some tee times or something that they find beneficial to their employees [to] give us a break" on costs, then "my office will negotiate that."

"We don't promise their executives' children free admission to the medical school," he said, laughing.

Linda Cohen, who chairs the university's Board of Regents, said she was aware of the U's negotiations with the Vikings over the Coke vs. Pepsi issue, and said she did not think the disagreement was a "deal breaker" in having the Vikings use the stadium. "Certainly, we want to honor" the school's Coke contract but also "make this work for everybody."

But, said Dean Johnson, another member of the Board of Regents: "Pepsi and Coke -- I mean, that's a big deal. We're not trying to be punitive toward either product."

Mike Kaszuba • 651-222-1673

  • related content

  • The U has an exclusive deal with Coca-Cola, while the Vikings have one with Pepsi.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Tennessee 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Detroit 11/23/14 12:00 PM
New England
Green Bay 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Jacksonville 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Cincinnati 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tampa Bay 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Arizona 11/23/14 3:05 PM
Seattle
St. Louis 11/23/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Miami 11/23/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Washington 11/23/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
Dallas 11/23/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
NY Jets 11/24/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Baltimore 11/24/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 11/27/14 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Phoenix 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Orlando 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Detroit 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
Toronto
Boston 7:00 PM
Memphis
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Washington
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
San Antonio 7:00 PM
Minnesota
LA Lakers 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 8:00 PM
Denver
Chicago 9:30 PM
Portland
Utah 9:30 PM
Golden State
NY Rangers 0 Postponed
Buffalo 0
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Boston 6:00 PM
Columbus
New Jersey 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Texas A&M 59 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 50
USC 72 FINAL
Drexel 70
Clemson 70 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 72
Dayton 64 FINAL
Connecticut 75
Akron 51 FINAL
Miami-Florida 79
Seton Hall 68 FINAL
Nevada 60
Valparaiso 59 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 46
UNC Greensboro 79 FINAL
Longwood 81
Syracuse 66 2nd Half 0:04
Iowa 63
Central Conn St 49 FINAL
Towson 58
Boston College 57 2nd Half 4:09
West Virginia 60
Ill-Chicago 58 FINAL
Yale 70
Alcorn State 43 2nd Half 10:16
Hampton 59
LSU 13 1st Half 14:35
Old Dominion 3
Prairie View 6:00 PM
Baylor
Montana State 0 Postponed
Buffalo 0
Maine 6:00 PM
Central Mich
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Wofford 6:00 PM
Fairfield
New Mexico 6:00 PM
George Mason
Troy 6:00 PM
Georgia
IUPU-Ft Wayne 6:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Stony Brook 6:00 PM
Hofstra
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Kentucky
Loyola-Chicago 6:00 PM
Michigan State
Toledo 6:00 PM
Oregon
Lehigh 6:00 PM
Rider
Charlotte 6:00 PM
South Carolina
UNLV 6:00 PM
Stanford
George Washington 6:00 PM
Virginia
Hiwassee 0 1st Half 18:25
Western Carolina 0
Texas 6:30 PM
California
Florida Memorial 6:30 PM
FIU
Southern Ill 6:30 PM
Kent State
Bethune-Cookman 6:30 PM
Monmouth
Delaware State 7:00 PM
Arkansas
ULM 7:00 PM
Florida
Austin Peay 7:00 PM
Illinois
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Jarvis Christian 7:00 PM
McNeese State
Milwaukee 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
Stephen F Austin 7:00 PM
Xavier
Kennesaw St 7:00 PM
North Dakota St
North Dakota 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Iona 7:30 PM
Wake Forest
Louisiana 8:00 PM
Auburn
Georgia State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Penn State 8:00 PM
Cornell
Marshall 8:00 PM
Louisville
Oral Roberts 8:00 PM
Oregon State
UC Riverside 8:00 PM
Utah
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Washington St
Illinois State 8:00 PM
Weber State
Florida A&M 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Sam Houston St 8:00 PM
South Dakota
Temple 8:30 PM
Duke
Presbyterian 9:00 PM
American Univ
Delaware 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Washington 9:00 PM
Seattle
Kansas State 9:30 PM
Long Beach State
Pittsburgh 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(12) Kansas State 26 FINAL
West Virginia 20
North Carolina 45 FINAL
(25) Duke 20
Arkansas State 27 FINAL
Texas State 45
Kent State 0 Cancelled
Buffalo 0
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
Rice
Air Force 8:30 PM
San Diego St
San Jose St 8:30 PM
Utah State
Char Southern 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(9) Georgia
South Alabama 11/22/14 11:00 AM
So Carolina
Rutgers 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(10) Michigan State
Minnesota 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(21) Nebraska
Northwestern 11/22/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(18) Marshall 11/22/14 11:00 AM
UAB
Kansas 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(23) Oklahoma
Indiana 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Penn State 11/22/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
(14) Eastern Ky 11/22/14 11:00 AM
Florida
TX-San Antonio 11/22/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
SMU 11/22/14 11:00 AM
UCF
Virginia Tech 11/22/14 11:30 AM
Wake Forest
Washington St 11/22/14 12:00 PM
(13) Arizona State
Louisiana Tech 11/22/14 12:00 PM
Old Dominion
Western Mich 11/22/14 12:00 PM
Central Mich
New Mexico 11/22/14 12:30 PM
(22) Colorado State
Eastern Mich 11/22/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Appalachian St 11/22/14 1:00 PM
Louisiana
Tulsa 11/22/14 2:00 PM
Houston
(15) Arizona 11/22/14 2:30 PM
(20) Utah
FIU 11/22/14 2:30 PM
North Texas
(8) Ole Miss 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Arkansas
Louisville 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Notre Dame
Maryland 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Texas Tech 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Iowa State
(14) Wisconsin 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Syracuse 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Boston College 11/22/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Georgia State 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Tulane 11/22/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Stanford 11/22/14 3:00 PM
California
Western Carolina 11/22/14 3:00 PM
(2) Alabama
ULM 11/22/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
So Florida 11/22/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
Colorado 11/22/14 3:30 PM
(3) Oregon
Fla Atlantic 11/22/14 6:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Samford 11/22/14 6:00 PM
(16) Auburn
Miami-Florida 11/22/14 6:00 PM
Virginia
Vanderbilt 11/22/14 6:30 PM
(4) Miss State
(19) Missouri 11/22/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
Oklahoma State 11/22/14 6:30 PM
(6) Baylor
(24) USC 11/22/14 7:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Cincinnati 11/22/14 7:00 PM
Connecticut
Boise State 11/22/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 11/22/14 9:30 PM
Washington
Fresno State 11/22/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
UNLV 11/22/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Ohio U 11/25/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
LSU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(5) TCU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
(21) Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(18) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(19) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(15) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(11) UCLA
(22) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
BYU 11/29/14 2:00 AM
California
(20) Utah 11/29/14 2:00 AM
Colorado
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 2:00 AM
Oregon State
Kentucky 11/29/14 2:00 AM
Louisville
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:00 AM
(24) USC
So Carolina 11/29/14 2:00 AM
Clemson
Florida 11/29/14 2:00 AM
(1) Florida State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 2:00 AM
(25) Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
Montreal 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/23/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
TBA 11/30/14 5:00 PM
TBA
Delaware 60 FINAL
East Carolina 89
Wiley 65 FINAL
Sam Houston St 48
SE Louisiana 78 FINAL
Troy 80
St Francis-NY 63 FINAL
North Dakota 70
Eastern Kentucky 56 FINAL
Central Arkansas 55
Chattanooga 53 FINAL
(3) Notre Dame 88
UT Martin 27 2nd Half
Dayton 43
William & Mary 25 2nd Half
NC A&T 26
LSU-Alexandria 0 Cancelled
Nicholls 0
Eastern Illinois 28 2nd Half
Florida State 52
Marquette 40 2nd Half 20:00
Wake Forest 46
Columbia College 12 1st Half 7:24
SC State 29
Rider 22 1st Half 4:45
Towson 20
Jackson State 6:00 PM
Mercer
High Point 6:00 PM
NC State
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
Alabama A&M 6:00 PM
Samford
Morehead St 6:00 PM
Indiana
Lehigh 6:00 PM
NJIT
Alabama 6:00 PM
Kansas
Canisius 6:00 PM
Bryant
San Diego State 0 1st Half 20:00
Furman 0
East Tenn St 0 1st Half 20:00
St Francis-PA 0
Evansville 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Winthrop 0 1st Half 20:00
(4) Tennessee 0
Mount St Marys 6:00 PM
Campbell
Elon 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Hofstra 6:00 PM
Fordham
Columbia 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
USC 6:30 PM
Long Beach St
Saint Louis 6:30 PM
SE Missouri St
Massachusetts 7:00 PM
North Texas
Kent State 7:00 PM
Northwestern
Hampton 7:00 PM
Kansas State
Bradley 7:00 PM
Oklahoma
Houston 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
North Florida 7:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Arizona 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
ULM 7:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Tulsa 7:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Graceland 7:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
Pepperdine 7:30 PM
(19) Iowa
Temple 7:30 PM
Georgetown
Denver 8:00 PM
Wyoming
(24) Gonzaga 8:00 PM
Montana State
Boise State 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Missouri 8:30 PM
UNLV
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Montana 9:00 PM
Pacific
Portland 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Villanova 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Seattle 10:30 PM
Washington St
(14) California 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Gophers and Vikings do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close