University of Utah switches to Pepsi products, negotiates for no blue with the logo

Elise Amendola, AP

FILE – In this July 9, 2015, file photo, Pepsi bottles are on display at a supermarket in Haverhill, Mass. PepsiCo reports financial results on Monday, April 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

The University of Utah has gone blue for its soda products.

The University of Utah has named Pepsi as its official beverage, which will go into effect on July 1, according to an article on the university’s website.

Pepsi’s introduction to the U. will join Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Aquafina and craft soda products at the school, according to the U.

Pepsi will also fund scholarships and internships at the school, as well as development opportunities for students.

“This contract will provide roughly 200 scholarships, helping our students with financial needs and those whose academic success merits recognition,” said John Nixon, vice president for Administrative Services for the school.

The University originally announced the decision last year.

Collin Simmons, the associate director for auxiliary services operations at the schools, told the Deseret News in an email that the bidding process ended last year and the time to make the switch is near.

“Campus has been aware of the change, but it was time again to bring it to attention as the switch-over begins,” he told the Deseret News.

The school’s deal with Pepsi also addressed the soda brand’s signature color. As many Utah residents know, the school’s primary color is red, while rival school Brigham Young University’s main brand is blue.

University administrators worked with Pepsi to create a first-ever Pepsi signage and brand, which will include U. logos without a blue background, according to the article.

Simmons said that the blue logo did not cause concern. “There was not a lot of concern over the color, and this did not factor into the decision,” he said.

Still, Simmons said the U. is the first school that Pepsi has “co-branded” with.

“As a proud Ute alumni and on behalf of PepsiCo, I’m thrilled for the opportunity to make some of PepsiCo’s most iconic and innovative brands available to the University of Utah community,” said Kirk Tanner, president and chief operating officer of North America Beverages at PepsiCo, in the university’s article. “The university has my personal commitment to bring the absolute best that PepsiCo has to offer to this new partnership.”

Pepsi has yet to respond to Deseret News’ request for comment.

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