NBA star LeBron James has been synonymous with Coca-Cola for around 18 years but he has now decided to switch allegiances. James is now reportedly joining the PepsiCo brand and is set to sign a new endorsement deal. As per the new deal with Pepsi, James is expected to promote the upcoming drink ‘Rise Energy’ of Pepsi’ Mountain Dew brand. It is being said that the deal could be extended companywide. The development comes at a time when the company has already signed deals with several other NBA players. One of the prominent players who signed the deal is Zion Williamson.
It must be noted that James signed a deal with Coca Cola way back in 2003. At that time, he had not even started his NBA career and remained with Cola ever since. In 2014, the beverage conglomerate launched ‘Sprite 6 Mix by LeBron James’. It was his signature drink and also featured its own campaign. But the NBA player’s pact with Coca Cola came to an end in September 2020. Sources privy to the development said that the contract of LeBron came for renewal at a time when both the NBA star and the beverage company were actively reviewing all options.
“The company wanted to make sure that its investment goes for a long term and benefit the company,” Coca-Cola said. The company said that the decision was mutually agreed upon. “After many rounds of discussion with the player and his team, it was mutually agreed that we should part ways.” Interestingly, Coca Cola was replaced by Pepsi as the official food and beverage partner of the WNBA and NBA in 2015. This had ended 30 years of partnership with Coca Cola. On the other hand, PepsiCo continued to grow its dominance and grabbed an even larger share of the market space by acquiring Rockstar in March 2020 for a huge USD 3.85 billion.