WKU announces contract to become Coca-Cola campus

Michael McKay

WKU announced Monday that a new 10-year contract with Coca-Cola has been signed, replacing Pepsi as the major beverage provider for campus.

Coca-Cola, which has not held the WKU contract for 15 years, will now exclusively be sold in vending machines, soda fountains, campus restaurants and concessions under the new contract, according to a WKU press release.

Campus convenience stores like the Bate Shop and the Pit Stop will offer Coca-Cola products in 90 percent of the stores and Pepsi products in the remaining 10 percent of the store. This is a reversal from last semester when Coca-Cola was allowed to be sold in 10 percent of the two stores.

The previous contract with Pepsi expires on Wednesday. Starting on Thursday, the installation of 70 Coca-Cola vending machines and fountain machines will begin, and Coca-Cola products will debut at WKU home athletic events beginning on Jan. 17 at a Lady Topper basketball game. The installations are planned to be complete by the time the spring semester begins on Jan. 23.

Gary Meszaros, assistant vice president for Auxiliary Services, said the deal with Coca-Cola will be beneficial for WKU.

“Basically from my perspective, the potential is there for Coke to provide a better service for campus than Pepsi,” Meszaros said.

Meszaros said Coca-Cola products have been selling better than Pepsi in and around Bowling Green-area grocery and convenience stores.

“Sales of Pepsi products have been declining,” he said.

The new deal will still allow students to drink their favorite soda.

“I like Dr. Pepper, so that comes in with Coke. But if you like Mountain Dew, you can still get it from places on campus,” Meszaros said.

Products available on campus following the switch will be Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Dr Pepper, Sprite, Mello Yello, Ski, Minute Maid Juice, Dasani Water, Vitamin Water, Smart Water, PowerAde and Monster Energy Brands.

An event to officially welcome Coca-Cola back to WKU will soon be announced.