Magazine article ADWEEK

Pepsi to Sponsor WB Music Show: Buyers Warn of Advertiser Risk If Show Does Poorly. (National News)

Magazine article ADWEEK

Pepsi to Sponsor WB Music Show: Buyers Warn of Advertiser Risk If Show Does Poorly. (National News)

Article excerpt

NEW YORK Sponsors taking name ownership of sports broadcasting is commonplace. Then Coke became the first advertiser to get naming rights to a nonsports program. And with the summer debut of Pepsi Smash on The WB Network, Pepsi is now the second.

While buyers like the idea, they caution that it can be risky.

The hour-long, six-week Pepsi Smash debuts July 16, featuring live performances by the likes of Beyonce, Michelle Branch and Mya. In summer 2000, The WB aired the series Coca-Cola Presents the Young Americans, for which the soft drink maker spent a reported $6 million.

"Up to this point, our conversations for this type of sponsorship deal has been just for summer programming," said The WB president Jed Petrick. "But with the growing cost of programming ... these opportunities can be made available on a year-round basis."

Petrick would not discuss the price tag. Pepsi and the network jointly own Pepsi Smash, and The WB sells the ad time. …

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