Jones Soda scores with new deal with Seahawks

by Eric Schroeder
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SEATTLE — Jones Soda Co., a small soft drink maker that posted $39 million in sales during fiscal 2006, scored a touchdown this week with the announcement it secured soft drink rights at Qwest Field and Events Center, home of the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks.

The move makes Jones Soda the only label outside of The Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo, Inc. to have an exclusive deal with an N.F.L. team, and is believed to be the first time a small private label brand has displaced a large soft drink company to win a major pouring contract. Coca-Cola had been the soft drink provider at Qwest Field since 2002.

Under terms of the agreement, detailed in a May 22 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Jones will be a sponsor of the Seattle Seahawks, with exclusive soft drink and certain other non-alcoholic beverage availability rights at Qwest Field and Events Center as well as sponsorship and trademark rights regarding the use of the Seattle Seahawks trademarks.

The agreement has an effective date of July 1, 2007, and expires on Feb. 28, 2012. The deal also gives Jones Soda the right of first renewal with respect to renewing or extending the agreement.

Jones Soda, which is known for placing individual photos on the labels of its bottles and cans, plans to place different Seahawks players or fans on the products sold inside the stadium as well as supermarkets in the surrounding area.

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