PepsiCo on Track to Gain Speedway Business
PepsiCo Inc.'s war with archrival Coca-Cola Co. is moving onto the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the Purchase, N.Y.-based company is expected to become the exclusive soft drink at the fabled racetrack. Although Coke is still the official soft drink of NASCAR, Pepsi has been spending freely to become the official drink at racetracks around the country. The marketing war is part of an overall push by Pepsi to use a variety of sports to market its drinks. Pepsi recently paid an undisclosed amount to become the official soft drink of major league baseball. Pepsi took over at the Indianapolis track after Coca-Cola opted not to renew its $500,000 annual contract. “Pepsi’s gotten a lot more aggressive in pursuing these deals, and Coke has gotten more business-focused, looking for a return on their investment,” said John Bevilaqua, a sports-marketing consultant and former Coca-Cola executive.