LeBron James Leaving Coca-Cola & Taking His Talents To Pepsi

The 36-year-old megastar has signed with PepsiCo and is expected to join other NBA stars Joel Embiid, Zion Williamson and Jamal Murray in the rebranding of its Mountain Dew soft drink. 

READ MORE: PEPSI Teams Up With Desus & Mero To Bless New York City, Bodegas and Shoppers This Holiday

 Aside from this, Front Office Sports is reporting that James will become the face of Mountain Dew’s upcoming “Rise Energy” line. James previously had a big role in selling Powerade and Sprite products with Coca-Cola. The James addition for PepsiCo is huge and will help broaden the continued rebranding expansion of the soft drink giant. 

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A Coca-Cola spokesperson told Front Office Sports that Bron’s deal with them expired in September 2020. James first signed with the soft drink giant in 2003, as an 18-year-old who was the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft.

 “LeBron’s contract came up at a time when both he and The Coca-Cola Company were both actively reviewing all of its resources to make sure it was investing in places that ensured long-term growth”. So after many discussions, the two parties mutually agreed to part ways. 

Riding The Pepsi Train 

And Bron is a master at maneuvering the situation to fit his wants and needs. It’s a clear talent that he utilizes on several levels.

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He sees Pepsi as the fresher, exploding brand at this time and wants in on the future. 

Pepsi is elevating the biggest moment in music and entertainment in the United States – the 10th Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show – by rolling out a month-long, multi-channel campaign, including the debut of a national TV spot featuring international phenom and Halftime Show headliner The Weeknd, titled “Get Ready.”

 “Get Ready,” spotlights different fans and consumers as they hum, dance or sing along to The Weeknd’s chart-topping hit “Blinding Lights, The spot ends outside of a football stadium where a security guard, who is completely lost in the song, comes face-to-face with The Weeknd himself. 

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The brand’s month-long campaign leading up to The Big Game comes to life across multiple retail and digital components, and bring fans closer than ever to the year’s biggest performance, starting immediately with the launch of PepsiHalftime.com – a digital fan portal that will populate with exclusive and behind-the-scenes artist and show content, augmented reality (AR) experiences for fans at home, and more. 

In addition to the multiple consumer touchpoints, the brand’s new spot, “Get Ready,” which debuted during NFL Super Wild Card games will continue to air nationally leading up to Feb. 7 and marks the first time Pepsi has ever produced an ad specifically for the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show. 

The Art Of Brand Mastering 

Bron’s deal with Coca-Cola along with Upper Deck was his longest-tenured endorsement partnerships since turning pro.

That now goes to Nike and Upper Deck as his longest-standing relationships. LBJ signed a lifetime deal with the “SWOOSH” reportedly worth up to $1 billion in revenue. It’s unknown how much his Upper Deck deal is actually worth, but the company is known for working with athletes even after retirement.

Michael Jordan, Bron’s predecessor as Top NBA Brand, signed with the trading card giant following his first title win in Chicago (1991) and is still working with the company. 

 As for this new deal with Pepsi, the financial terms are still undisclosed. It’s a sure bet that they backed up the Brinks truck for the NBA superstar. Bron makes an estimated $50M from his current endorsement deals and also smartly demands equity in the companies he works with. So I must assume that his deal with PepsiCo. is similar. 

 Just as there’s no word on the financial terms, there’s also no word on when LBJ will begin officially plugging the soft drink. But we do know it won’t happen during this year’s Super Bowl. Pepsi announced it won’t be running any new ads during the big game. Although they are still the official sponsor for the Super Bowl halftime show which will feature “The Weeknd.

Whatever the case may be, it sounds like LeBron has secured another bag for the new year. Finally, this news follows him ditching his partnership with KIA to plug the new GMC Hummer.