Layton Getsinger (Administration and Finance) said Aug. 1 is the target date for signing the contract after university trustees voted to award the rights to Pepsi. Pepsi had bid $7.1 million for the so-called "pouring rights" on campus over a 10-year period. Coke's bid was $3.93 million.
At ECU, soft drinks from both companies are currently sold in university dining halls and snack bars, at athletic events and in vending machines.
The university has now joined the national trend of awarding an exclusive beverage contract to one soft-drink company. University Business magazine reported recently that universities nationwide were receiving premiums of millions of dollars to become associated with one soda company.
"The companies know," the magazine reported, "that most frosh matriculate without a soda preference and graduate with one. "Their hope is that undergrads will become hooked on Pepsi (or Coke) during late-night caffeine-fueled study sessions and carry the benign addiction throughout their adult lives."
The trustees at their July 17 meeting also endorsed a plan to allocate the revenue from the new contract among the Athletics Department, academic merit scholarships and leadership projects. The Athletics Department will receive $2 million for capital projects. Of the remaining revenue, 50 percent will go to an endowment fund for academic scholarships, 40 percent to an endowment fund for grants-in-aid to student-athletes, and 10 percent to create a Faculty/Student Leadership Endowment Fund.
Discussions of an exclusive soft-drink contract at ECU began early this year when Athletic Department officials began discussing an exclusive contract at athletic contests in return for financial support for a new scoreboard at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Subsequently, officials decided to seek a contract for the entire university. A request for proposals was distributed in early June and bids were opened July 2. Getsinger coordinated the bid process.
ECU News Bureau