The Charlotte Hornets and Coca-Cola Consolidated today announced an extension of their Founding Level Partnership in which the company remains the team’s official and exclusive partner for soft drinks, water, bottled teas and juices, and retains pouring rights for Spectrum Center concession stands. This season, Coca-Cola Consolidated is shifting its promotional assets to Dr Pepper after many years of using this partnership to promote the Sprite brand.
“We are pleased to extend our partnership with Coca-Cola Consolidated and look forward to fully integrating the Dr Pepper brand into our in-arena experience and activations,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “Coca-Cola Consolidated is one of our oldest partners, dating back to the original Hornets, and we are appreciative of their many years of support.”
As part of the partnership, the area formerly known as Rock the Rooftop on Spectrum Center’s 200 level is being rebranded as the Dr Pepper Pavilion and the Pepper Lounge. This interactive area will feature signage and branding, samplings focused on Dr Pepper’s innovative flavors and additional activations. Dr Pepper has also become the entitlement partner of mobile ordering on the Hornets App, a virtual basketball game on the app that translates to the scoreboard, and dunk highlights. The brand is advertised through various types of signage, including fixed signage outside Spectrum Center and in the Main Lobby, as well as digital signage on the scorer’s table, scoreboard and 360 LED boards.
One new element to the partnership between the Hornets and Coca-Cola Consolidated will be a sustainability program that will initially focus on recycling within Spectrum Center. In addition, the two organizations will continue to partner on community initiatives including the Hugo’s Little Hero program in conjunction with Bee Mighty and the NICU and PICU at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital and Dr Pepper will continue to provide drinks for Hornets community events such as the annual Cornucopia event at Thanksgiving.
“As Charlotte’s local bottler, we have refreshed and cheered alongside Hornets fans since the inception of the team over 30 years ago,” said Heather Hucks, VP of Consumer Connections at Coca-Cola Consolidated. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with this community focused organization and are excited to feature Dr Pepper as our lead brand for the team. Dr Pepper’s flagship brand, with its 23 unique flavors, is a perfect fit for the Charlotte Hornets and we can’t wait for fans to see all the fun ways to engage with Dr Pepper inside and outside the arena.”
Dr Pepper also serves as the entitlement partner for the annual Hornets Tipoff Tour, which takes place each year prior to the start of the regular season, and the annual Fan Appreciation Night at the end of each season. In addition, Dr Pepper is the presenting partner of several digital and social media content pieces.