Indian Premier League February 18, 2009

Drinks break for Shah Rukh Khan

The war between the cola majors has found a new turf, the IPL

The war between the cola majors has found a new turf, the IPL. After Pepsi ended its ten-year association with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) owner and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, Coca Cola has swooped in to sign a two-year deal to associate its popular Sprite brand with the team. It is learnt that Coca Cola will be involved in sponsorship of merchandise and serve beverages at Knight Rider stadia.

Pepsi, who shifted its focus to younger consumers, had earlier dropped Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly (the KKR captain) as brand ambassadors. Shah Rukh’s contract which expired in 2008 was also not renewed, though he may now be signed up by Coca Cola. “I am now perhaps too old for Pepsi,’’ he told the Times of India

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is Pepsi’s new face but in a twist that could add fizz to the cola wars, Ishant Sharma, who will spearhead the KKR pace attack, features in Pepsi’s mini-campaigns. Did someone mention ambush marketing?