Universal studios theme park in Japan to serve Coke

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TOKYO--Coca-Cola Co. in Japan has won the soft drink concession for Universal Studios theme park in Osaka, which is scheduled to open in 2001.

The contract, expected to last 10 years, will give Coke exclusive rights for soft drinks at the park, which is expected to attract about eight million visitors in its first year.

As part of the beverage concessions deal, Coke will sponsor an attraction based on the movie "Waterworld" and a restaurant.

The contact is a minor coup for Coke. Japanese beverage and liquor maker Suntory, which distributes Pepsi products in Japan, is based in the Osaka region and was considered to have an inside track because of its regional strength.

Suntory had been able to eat away at Coke's dominant share of Japan's cola market with aggressive marketing campaigns for Pepsi.

Universal Studios Japan officials said there are about 15 to 20 sponsorship deals remaining for the park, including the alcohol concession.

Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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