This Town Brought to You by Coke:
The City Council of Huntington Beach, California, has made
it official: By law, Coke is now the real thing. In February
1999, the Coca-Cola Company and the cash-strapped city
completed a deal which gives Coke exclusive rights to place
its logo and vending machines on all city property'parks,
beaches, even police and fire stations'for the next ten
years. In exchange, Coke will pay the city $300,000 cash per
year in addition to spending another $300,000 annually to
renovate city parks.
The deal that made Coke the "official city beverage"
restricts sales of arch-rival Pepsi to privately-owned
businesses such as restaurants, supermarkets, and
convenience stores. Pepsi has responded to Coke's coup by
scrambling for a town of its own; it's currently preparing
an exclusivity contract with California's capital,
Huntington Beach hopes to sign more corporate sponsors to
exclusivity deals. Don Schulte, a local sports marketing
executive who organized the Coke sponsorship, is already
dreaming of future deals. "If Calvin Klein comes out with a
bathing suit line, maybe we'll talk," says Schulte. "We can
put lifeguards in Klein bathing suits and sweatsuits; we can
put beach parking attendants in Nike uniforms." And perhaps
the Mayor in a Tommy Hilfiger clown suit'