With a portfolio that includes the NFL, MLB, the International Cricket Council and other domestic and international properties, PepsiCo, Inc. is one of the world’s top sponsors in terms of annual spending.

And the food and beverage giant is placing more focus on leveraging its vast sponsorship portfolio across multiple brands.

PepsiCo in 2011 added the Quaker and Tropicana brands as part of its ten-year renewal with the National Football League. The company this year added Sabra hummus and Aquafina water to the decades-old partnership.

In addition, PepsiCo for the first time is activating the NFL across its full line of Pepsi products: Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max and Pepsi Next.

PepsiCo is applying the strategy to other properties as well. The company last year added Quaker Oats and the breakfast food category to its partnership with Major League Soccer.

The multi-brand strategy supports the organic role that PepsiCo brands play in the sports experience--whether on the field of play or the fan experience. That includes Gatorade’s long-running support of athletes, Quaker’s involvement with youth sports and Pepsi and Frito-Lay enhancing the fan experience through sweepstakes and other promotions that bring consumers closer to the game.

“We want to maximize our partnerships to the fullest, and the best way to do that is to bring our brands more closely together in the sports space,” said Jennifer Storms, PepsiCo’s senior vice president of global sports marketing.

As part of the strategy, PepsiCo looks to leverage sponsorship with activation programs that support its own marketing objectives as well as those of its partners.

“We are the ultimate partner for a league, team or athlete. They have a need for partners that can help enhance the fan experience, support youth programs and other initiatives, and we can do all of that.”

The key to the success: collaborative relationships. PepsiCo looks for properties that take a vested interest in a partnership’s success by keeping the company up to speed on new marketing initiatives and other programs where there may be a brand fit.

“It’s about sitting down with our partners, talking about where our brands authentically align and figuring out how we can create the best engagement platforms that align with each other’s goals,” said Storms.

Brian Rolapp, COO of NFL Media, echoes that sentiment. 

“As we work together we organically look to expand the relationship and bring in additional brands. That’s how sponsorship should work—you need to go in with the view of how to accomplish each other’s goals.”

Rolapp points to Pepsi’s sponsorship of the Super Bowl half time show as an example. The sponsorship supports Pepsi’s music platform while helping the NFL extend the reach of the show.

“The half time show use to be a big platform for 12 minutes in the middle of the Super Bowl. Pepsi has made it a bigger platform that begins in September and goes past the Super Bowl.”

PepsiCo leverages the NFL and other partnerships across three primary platforms:

360-degree consumer touch points. PepsiCo is placing more focus on engaging consumers through multiple touch points. That includes the field of play, in-stadium messaging and in-store promotions.  

“We want to reach more consumers in more places at more times than anyone else,” said Storms.

Local market activation. Whether it’s a national, regional or local property, the ultimate goal for PepsiCo is to gain local activation platforms. That includes retail promotions and other programs tailored to the local market.

“We want to work with our retailers to create uber local programs that bring our partnerships to life and drive purchase decisions.”

Sustainable activation platforms. PepsiCo looks for partnerships that can be activated throughout the year or season across multiple brands.

For example, the company activates the NFL across the combine, draft, training camp, kickoff, playoffs and Super Bowl.

“We’re not in the business of partnering with one-time sporting events. We partner with sports leagues, teams and athletes to drive sales every day of the year.”

The Pepsi “Are You Fan Enough? Lounge

The Pepsi “Are You Fan Enough? Lounge

Where The Rubber Meets The Road: Local Market Activation
PepsiCo uses 20-plus team deals to support national NFL marketing campaigns at the local level.

For example, the beverage giant is leveraging the NFL New York Giants to support Pepsi’s new “Are You Fan Enough?” national campaign.

The company today will roll out the “Are You Fan Enough?” mobile trailer at the Giants home game against the Minnesota Vikings. The trailer features interactive games (Pepsi pong, cornhole, etc.), a photo booth, product sampling and a TV area where fans can watch other games throughout the season.

The trailer will remain at MetLife Stadium through the 2014 Super Bowl.

PepsiCo also activates league and team deals with localized in-store promotions. The promotions can be sizable in terms of size and scope: PepsiCo last year activated the Giants with a multi-brand promotion that spanned an entire supermarket wall.

Like its league partnership, PepsiCo has broadened its Giants sponsorship over the past few years. The company this year rolled out a Tostitos-branded Mexican food cart in MetLife Stadium.

“PepsiCo has worked with us on the customer experience from upper deck concessions down to a premium spaces and clubs. They have worked with us not just on the experience but the product presentation as part of that experience,” said Mike Stevens, SVP and CMO with the New York Giants.

Pepsi is one of MetLife Stadium’s four cornerstone partners.

In Boston, PepsiCo is supporting the “Are You Fan Enough” national promotion with a localized campaign around the NFL New England Patriots.

The “Wicked Good” campaign includes the “Get A Wicked Good View” sweeps that dangles the chance to watch player introductions from the tunnel in Gillette Stadium. PepsiCo promotes the sweeps through in-store displays.  

PepsiCo also touts the campaign and team affiliation on delivery trucks throughout the Northeastern U.S.

“PepsiCo understands the importance of local activation under the NFL platform better than any other partner we work with,” said Jonathan Kraft, president of the New England Patriots.

PepsiCo also uses Gillette Stadium for meetings with trade partners. For example, the company recently hosted executives from BJ’s Wholesale Club for a 2014 planning meeting.