Baylor switches to Pepsi as official campus drink provider

Photo credit: Richard Hirst

Baylor University announced its partnership with PepsiCo on June 14, that makes them the exclusive beverage provider for the campus.

This partnership has already brought new vending machines and different soft-drink options to dining halls. Mountain Dew, Lipton Iced Tea, Gatorade, Starbucks Ready-To-Drink Coffee, Aquafina and Tropicana drinks are all included in PepsiCo’s list of products.

With these new options brought on by a different beverage partner, questions began to arise about Dr Pepper and its presence on Baylor’s campus.

According to Nick Joos, executive associate athletic director for external affairs, the deal with PepsiCo includes some carve-outs that will continue to allow Dr Pepper.

“We thought that was a victory for us,” Joos said.

Joos said Baylor and Dr Pepper are synonymous and that maintaining their relationship and tradition is important. Dr Pepper Hour will continue and Dr Pepper will still be served at sporting events and in the dining halls.

Joos said the addition of Gatorade is also win, especially for the student body and the athletes. However, not everyone is as excited about the switch as Joos.

“I feel like there are less options that I would use,” Saugus, Calif., senior Shannon McClenahan said.

She said there are too many energy drinks and too many coffee products in her dorm’s new vending machine.

The decision to bring Pepsi in to Baylor Nation was made by a committee of faculty, athletic department representation and a representative from the student body.

There were three soft drink vendors competing for the spot, but Pepsi’s presentation won the committee over, Joos said.

He said marketing was an important factor when choosing a soft drink provider. Pepsi has a number of ideas to involve students, Joos said. So far, those plans have included their back-to-school party and will include a “Student Game Day Dew Area” coming soon to athletic events.

“I’m hopeful that that will be a success for the student body,” Joos said. “Hopefully it’s a win win situation for everyone.”

According to Director of Student Activities Matt Burchett, the Dew Area will make its debut at the Traditions Rally on Sept. 11.

Their set-up will include music, Mountain Dew lifestyle video footage and a sampling truck with all 12 Mountain Dew flavors.

“It’s a great way to introduce Pepsi products to the Baylor community and specifically to students,” Burchett said.

He said there will be give-aways and exciting visuals.

“It’s an opportunity to have an experience,” Burchett said.

The “Student Game Day Dew Area” will be located in the student tailgating area for the first two home games of the season, on Sept. 12 and Sept. 26.

PepsiCo will also be placing “Dream Machine” recycling kiosks on campus, according to the summer press release from Baylor Athletics.

“I think they are excited to be on the Baylor campus,” Joos said.