People that haven’t given up sugary carbonated beverages can generally be lumped into two categories, Pepsi or Coke. Starting this season, neither will be “on-tap” at the Edward Jones Dome for St. Louis Rams games. It’s been widely reported that Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. will soon sign a deal with the Rams to become the official soft drink partner of the team.
Brands under the company’s umbrella include Dr Pepper of course as well as 7-Up, A&W, Diet Rite, RC Cola, Crush and Sun Drop among others. According to the St. Louis Business Journal, several of those brands will be retooled in the St. Louis area to prominently display the connection with the Rams. Pepsi had been the team’s soft drink partner since 2005 and before that the team had served Coke products at games. Financial terms weren’t disclosed with the Pepsi or Dr Pepper deals. Bob Reif, the Chief Marketing Officer for the Rams told the Business Journal that Dr Pepper offered a better deal than both Pepsi and Coke.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. came to be when it was spun off from Cadbury Schweppes in 2008. While the company is relatively new, the brands themselves are not. The history or Dr Pepper and its “blend of 23 flavors” can be traced back to 1885 in Waco, Texas. Royal Crown (RC) Cola traces its roots back to 1904 in Columbus, Georgia. Diet Rite was the “industry’s first sugar-free diet beverage” in 1962. In comparison, Diet Pepsi came to the market in 1964 and Diet Coke wasn’t introduced until 1982. In 2000, Diet Rite replaced the sweetener in its product, going from aspartame to Splenda’s sucralose. Aspartame is used in both Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke and is fairly controversial. As you can see below, Diet RC Cola has been installed at the Dome rather than Diet Rite. Diet RC Cola still uses the Splenda, it just also had sodium and caffeine whereas Diet Rite does not.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. launched the Sun Drop brand nationwide back in 2011, but the brand was actually born in St. Louis in 1949 and had been a regional favorite for years. The dancecam at Rams games could get pretty interesting if this commercial for Sun Drop is to be believed.
The company signed a deal in 2007 with the Chicago Bears that is reportedly worth $3 million annually for the teams. That deal was the company’s first deal with an NFL team. At Soldier Field there are also concession locations that sell the company’s energy drinks as well as its Snapple line of teas and juices. No word if those will be available at the Edward Jones Dome.
For some reason people apparently emailed St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay about the Rams’ soft drink switch.
The Rams’ Dr Pepper switch drew more worried emails from Pepsi fans than Coke fans. # fgs
— MayorSlay.com (@MayorSlay) August 3, 2013
I’ll admit I am a pretty big Diet Pepsi fanatic and I did enjoy my fair share of the product by working games the last couple of seasons. I will just have to get accustomed to Diet RC Cola apparently. Dr. Pepper products were already installed at the Edward Jones Game for the Rams’ FanFest over the weekend.
— BobReif (@OfficialBobReif) August 3, 2013
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