The battle between Pepsi and Coke continues, and this time PepsiCo is winning.
The iconic food company announced Tuesday that, starting Sept. 1, PepsiCo would become the exclusive nonalcoholic beverage and snack partner across all Madison Square Garden Company properties. The deal upends a contract MSG held with Coca-Cola dating back to 1910.
Scott Rothbort, founder and president of LakeView Asset Management, said the new partnership is more of a symbolic gain than a financial one for PepsiCo.
“I don’t think it’s really going to move the needle in terms of Pepsi’s earnings,” he said Tuesday on “Closing Bell.”
Still, both brands closed higher on the news, PepsiCo at 0.31 percent up and Coca-Cola, which reports earnings on Wednesday, at 0.69 percent up.
Rothbort said his firm “avoid[s] Coca-Cola” but that it holds Pepsi in its dividend portfolio.
Rothbort pointed out that both brands have underperformed the S&P 500 in the last five years, but PepsiCo by far less. He said the company will continue to outperform Coca-Cola thanks to PepsiCo’s wide range of products. Other brands that fall under the PepsiCo umbrella include Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Frito-Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, SunChips, and Lipton and Pure Leaf ice teas.
The new Madison Square Garden contract means Pepsi will be served across all MSG properties, including Radio City Music Hall in New York and the Chicago Theatre in Chicago. In addition, PepsiCo will become an official partner of MSG’s sports and other franchises, including the New York Knicks and Rangers, and the Christmas Spectacular, which stars the Radio City Rockettes.
The deal will also further increase PepsiCo’s brand exposure by renaming the eight-floor concourse after the company.
But this isn’t the first time Pepsi has replaced Coke.
In 2015, PepsiCo signed a contract to partner with the National Basketball Association as the league’s exclusive food and beverage sponsor, ending Coca-Cola’s 28-year-old contract.