COKE PONIES UP $500 MILLION FOR NCAA

Sponsorship Pact Includes Buys on CBS

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Less than three months after losing sponsorship rights in the National Football League to archrival PepsiCo, the Coca-Cola Co. has signed an 11-year, $500 million deal to become the official soft-drink sponsor of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

The deal is for beverage

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marketing and media rights to 87 NCAA championships, including the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship on CBS, the NCAA's most profitable event. The deal includes an extensive advertising buy on the CBS telecast of the annual March tournament. CBS is a unit of Viacom.

Coca-Cola will receive rights to use the NCAA marks, will support the NCAA's champions in 22 sports through advertising, promotional initiatives and marketing programs, and will participate in on-site activities at numerous NCAA championships.

Pepsi had been an NCAA partner and official soft drink since 1995. Pepsi won the NFL sponsorship rights from Coke in March of this year in a five-year, $200 million deal.

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