No Bud for Fans in SuperFest Territory; Sponsorship Rights Cut out Competition from Familiar Brand Names, Hot Dog Vendors

By Rodack, Jordan | The Florida Times Union, December 30, 2004 | Go to article overview

No Bud for Fans in SuperFest Territory; Sponsorship Rights Cut out Competition from Familiar Brand Names, Hot Dog Vendors


Rodack, Jordan, The Florida Times Union


Byline: JORDAN RODACK, The Times-Union

If you're looking for a Coke or a Budweiser from vendors around Jacksonville's downtown festivities during Super Bowl week, forget about it. Pepsi and Coors have it all locked up.

Frito Lay, Gatorade and Tropicana also have dibs on their respective products.

Corporate Super Bowl sponsors doling out big bucks are keeping some of the best-known brand names from showing up at top events during the four-day extravaganza in February. National Football League officials won't release how much each sponsor paid for the exclusive right to hawk its brand, but it's believed to be millions of dollars.

The restrictions are for the SuperFest area downtown, said Heather Surface, spokeswoman for the Jacksonville Super Bowl Host Committee. The area, sponsored by The Florida Times-Union, extends from the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts down Bay Street to the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, and down the Main Street bridge to the Southbank.

Host committee and other NFL events also are "strongly encouraged" to use those brands, Surface said.

But Super Bowl sponsors have no power over established private businesses in the SuperFest area and other parts of town. In fact, Alltel Stadium, which features a large refreshment area above the south end zone called the Bud Zone, still can serve its namesake and a variety of other beers throughout the stadium. The stadium also has a contract with Pepsi.

So how will the league make sure vendors serve the right products?

The city is contracting with Spectrum, a Texas-based beverage company, to supply products from NFL sponsors to vendors, said Theresa O'Donnell, director of special events for Jacksonville.

Meanwhile, other restrictions will limit the appearance of some other well-known downtown names. …

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