Colorado State University today announced an unprecedented multi-million dollar 10-year strategic partnership with Coca-Cola Refreshments. The investments in the university provide for funding of student scholarships and internships, support of academic programs and access to world-wide marketing opportunities.
This is the second major corporate sponsorship Colorado State has secured in four months following the January announcement of its partnership with OfficeMax. The university is aggressively pursuing such agreements to strategically secure new revenue streams through innovative thinking and to provide significant new benefits to the CSU community.
“We are pleased to enter this long-term partnership with Coca-Cola. Extending well beyond typical beverage contracts, the originality and comprehensiveness of this agreement make it different from any beverage partnership in the country,” said Amy Parsons, CSU’s vice president for operations. “Coca-Cola’s support will benefit nearly all aspects of the university – from academics to athletics – and provide CSU a variety of new marketing opportunities.”
Coca-Cola’s Investment in CSU
As part of the partnership, Coca-Cola will be CSU’s exclusive beverage provider. As part of the contract, scholarships will be provided aimed primarily at Colorado State’s academic and research strengths in the areas of water stewardship and conservation. Funds also will go to support scholarships and programming for the Division of Student Affairs, the Alumni Association and CSU Athletics.
"We are thrilled to have established this enduring relationship with such a prestigious and respected institution as CSU,” said Bill O’Brien, senior vice president of sales for Coca-Cola’s Northwest region. “Our partnership is a great source of pride for the Coca-Cola team. We look forward to refreshing and delighting the students and faculty.”
A portion of the annual funds also will be invested directly in academic programming for the Beverage Management Institute in CSU’s College of Business, a newly planned program designed to establish the preeminent program of beverage operations and management education, training and research in the Rocky Mountain Region.
The Coca-Cola partnership also provides for additional, significant non-cash investments at Colorado State, including marketing opportunities, merchandising, new menu boards and equipment at Hughes Stadium and Moby Arena, and new recycle bins for campus. Top executives and subject-matter experts from Coca-Cola also will visit campus to further CSU academic programs. Additionally, Coca-Cola has agreed to provide generous amounts of product to the university, particularly to the Athletics and Student Affairs departments.
As part of the partnership, Coca-Cola will be a Premier Corporate Level Sponsor for CSU Athletics, providing Coke sideline rights for sports beverages, coolers, cups and towels.
“We are extremely pleased with and appreciative of the magnitude of Coca-Cola’s commitment to Ram Athletics. They obviously see the value in a rising program with a loyal and devoted fan base,” said Director of Athletics Paul Kowalczyk. “This partnership makes CSU’s athletics department stronger, and we will work with Coca-Cola to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership for the long term.”
One unique aspect of this agreement is the opportunity for CSU to partner with Coca-Cola to fuel the university’s academic and research pursuits on a global scale. Coca-Cola has agreed to assist CSU with its ongoing efforts to collaborate with specific universities in China that share academic and research interests with CSU and to facilitate faculty and student exchanges between the universities.
State of the Art Equipment
For beverage vending throughout the Colorado State campus, Coca-Cola has agreed to install either RamCash (campus debit cards) or credit card readers on the more than 175 vending machines, allowing customers the convenience of purchasing beverages without having to use cash. Commissions from vending sales will support programs in Student Affairs and Athletics.
In addition, CSU will have the opportunity to become the first college campus in Colorado to install the Coca-Cola Freestyle touch-screen 125-flavor soda dispensing machine. The Freestyle uses micro dispensing technology, 100 percent recyclable cartridges and radio technology that notifies distribution when more supplies are needed.
Keeping CSU Green
The Coca-Cola partnership is in line with green initiatives at Colorado State through the use of compostable cups and bottles made from up to 30 percent plant material that is 100 percent recyclable. Coca-Cola will use hybrid electric vehicles to make deliveries on campus.
All Coca-Cola vending machines will be Energy Star compliant and will have energy control modules that learn traffic patterns in order to conserve more energy.
Coca-Cola also will support CSU’s Green Warriors responsibility and sustainability initiatives through Live Positively events.