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University administrators released a Request for Proposals for the exclusive beverage rights in September, 2011 and Coca-Cola Bottlers Consolidated was awarded the contract for exclusive right to sell its products on campus, effective January 1, 2011. This replaced the previous contract with Minges Bottling Group, a Pepsi-Cola company, which had been in place since 1998.
The bidding process was complex due to new state requirements to separately request proposals for soft drinks, juice, and bottled water. Coca-Cola won each with combined bids totaling $10.5 million over ten years.
Canned, bottled, and fountain drinks sold or distributed on campus, in university dining halls, cafes and convenience shops, as well as at all athletic concessions, special events, and in vending machines are covered under the Coca-Cola contract. As with the previous contract, this does not cover personal consumption of other brands on campus. But rather, it covers all soft drinks, juice, and bottled water that is sold, purchased by departments or organizations to be given away at events or activities, sampled or distributed on ECU property. With the exclusivity contract, Coca-Cola is the official soft drink of East Carolina University.
ECU allocates revenue from the exclusive beverage contract to academic merit scholarships, athletic scholarships, and leadership and educational projects. The Athletics Department receives funding for capital projects since sales revenue is generated at athletic concessions. A percentage also goes to an endowment fund for academic scholarships, an endowment fund for grants-in-aid to student-athletes, and faculty/student leadership programs.
Coke’s line of products include the traditional Coca-cola sodas: Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Cherry Coke, Sprite, Sprite Zero, Mello Yellow, Dr. Pepper, and Diet Dr. Pepper. Fanta Orange and Grape, Seagram’s Ginger Ale, Nestea, Hi-C, and Sundrop are other examples included in the Coke product line. Minute Maid, Fuze, V8 Splash and V8 Fusion blends are among the juices carried. Bottled water brands include Dasani, Vitaminwater, and Smartwater. Powerade, Full Throttle and NOS are energy drinks under the Coke brand. While not all types of beverages will be offered at every venue, the product assortment will be adjusted based on product sales and customer preference in specific areas. Specialty and new beverages on the market are brought to campus when available, and on a limited basis.
The local Coca-Cola bottler is excited to be on campus as many employees are ECU alumnus. Their familiarity with the campus and understanding of the diverse populations benefits them in serving the ECU market of students, staff, faculty, and medical professionals. With their offices based in Greenville, many of the staff are involved in the community, and are big supporters of local youth sports teams and other activities.
Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated has their corporate offices in Charlotte and is very familiar with having exclusive rights on college campuses, including similar relationships with schools such as NC State, West Virginia, Clemson, and the University of South Carolina.
Please call 737-1301 or 737-1311 to report the problem. If possible, please provide the equipment number and location so that the machine can be repaired in a timely manner. Refunds are issued at Dowdy Student Stores' accounting office in the Wright Building or the Health Sciences Bookstore in Brody 1S-04. Please be prepared to provide the location of the drink machine when requesting a refund. If you encounter a major service problem with a drink vending machine on a weekend, there is a silver sticker on the machine with a toll-free phone number to call. You will need the "equipment number" on the sticker to report the problem. Vandalism should be reported to the ECU Police as soon as possible.
Coke is a sponsor for many events, providing major prizes for contests and various other items for participants. They donate beverages throughout the year to a variety of organizations. There are also several special promotions held at ECU with premiums given with the purchase of Coca-Cola brand drinks.
The Coca-Cola company has a multitude of programs related to current social issues. Visit their web site for details about Coca-Cola's sustainability projects and more.
When planning a special event, you will need to keep in mind that all beverages, with the exception of coffee, tea, and milk, must be brands distributed by Coca-Cola Consolidated. This includes all juices, energy drinks, sodas, as well as all bottled water. Alcoholic beverages are excluded.