Western Carolina University recently switched from Coca-Cola products to providing Pepsi products exclusively. This contract was entered on May 11, after state regulations required WCU to allow new bids for its next beverage provider contract.
WCU had a prior working relationship with Coca-Cola that led to many decades of the college supplying Coke products. Many factors played in the decision to make the change to Pepsi after so many years of providing Coca-Cola products. The main deciding factors were financially based, such as requesting guaranteed commission and sponsorship, due to the economic situations that have evolved in the last year.
“We had to make a business decision that was a win-win situation,” said Mr. Jeff Bewsey, WCU business officer.
Pepsi won this year’s bid after they met more of the requirements than Coca Cola. Mr. Bewsey commented that Pepsi had been a “good partner in the past” on recent bids.
“The financial package was best with Pepsi and had the best interest of Western Carolina University,” said Mr. Bewsey regarding the new contract.
The most prominent offer will come in the form of scholarships for students; Pepsi will provide half of WCU’s scholarship funds in the upcoming years. This will consist of $100,000 per year for the first five years of the contract, and an additional $125,000 per year for the remaining five years of the contract. These funds will be apart from the funds provided to the athletics department
Pepsi has also placed a bid for the athletics department for a new scoreboard at the football stadium. They have given $500,000 for the first year of this process which requires another bid and request proposal. The athletics department will also receive $640,000 over the next 10 years along with promotional products such as coolers, towels, and Gatorade supplies.
As the university strives to become a more environmentally conscience campus, they were able to take a step in the right direction with Pepsi. Pepsi will provide 70 energy-star rated vending machines throughout campus, which are expected to save the university $150 per year apiece, amounting to approximately $10,000 a year in savings for the next 10 years.
The company will also sponsor a dinner one time each semester in connection with Aramark. The new scoreboard will provide Pepsi with promotional opportunities through WCU which will include the Pepsi name and logo on the scoreboard and Pepsi information within each sport’s printed publications.
The recent change to Pepsi Co. products will benefit the entire university as the company will provide a significant increase in scholarships dollars for students of Western Carolina University as the school’s exclusive vendor with guaranteed sponsorship.