ESPN announced that Dr Pepper, a longtime sponsor of NCAA college football championship games, will remain the official sponsor of the College Football Playoff (CFP) until 2026, and will be the presenting sponsor of the championship trophy.
The beverage brand was the first official sponsor of the NCAA's new playoff system for college football in 2014, when the sports league dropped its BCS (Bowl Championship Series) for a four-team, single-elimination bracket. The contract initially was set to expire in 2020, but this extension expanded on the current deal Dr Pepper had by giving it sponsorship over the Big 12 conference (including championship games), as well as the Pacific 12 (Pac-12) conference championship games, and multimedia presence across various ESPN platforms.
ESPN the Magazine, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Audio, the SEC Network and the upcoming ACC Network had been selected as part of the brand's presence.
“Dr Pepper is synonymous with college football," said Jim Trebilcock, chief commercial officer for Dr Pepper Snapple Group. "Since signing on as the first sponsor of the College Football Playoff four years ago, we’ve strengthened that connection exponentially, tapping into the extraordinary passions of fans of both football and Dr Pepper. We are very proud to be extending our partnership with ESPN and the College Football Playoff for another six seasons, and we’re looking forward to giving our fans more of what they crave in the coming years.”
Said Bill Hancock, executive director of the CFP, said: “We are thrilled Dr Pepper has elected to extend its partnership with the College Football Playoff. Dr Pepper’s commitment to college football greatly lends to the promotion of the game and extending CFP brand awareness.”
Added Ed Erhardt, president of global sales and marketing at ESPN: “Dr Pepper is part of the foundation and the fabric of the College Football Playoff era. They’ve been first rate in everything they’ve done with us and the CFP. It has been a true partnership in these first four years. We look forward to working hand in hand with Dr Pepper and the CFP organization to bring fans the most exciting and most compelling College Football Playoff for years to come.”