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PepsiCo Inc. paying Center Grove schools for exclusive rights

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Pepsi vending machine. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal
Pepsi vending machine. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal

Coca-Cola vending machine. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal
Coca-Cola vending machine. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal

Center Grove students will find that the vending machines, concessions stands and cafeterias won’t be offering Coca-Cola products for much longer.

The schools will start selling PepsiCo Inc. products after the soda company offered to pay the district more money and lower the costs for the drinks.

PepsiCo will pay the schools a total of $481,631 during the next five years in exchange for the exclusive right to sell products in the schools.

Coca-Cola, which has had a contract with Center Grove for the past seven years, made an offer of $251,733. The school board voted to approve a contract with PepsiCo at an Aug. 15 meeting because it offered almost twice as much.


The money PepsiCo is giving the schools includes an annual payment of $50,000 a year, a commission on sales and a rebate on products delivered to the school. In exchange, the company obtains the exclusive rights to sell its products to students and a scoreboard advertisement.

School districts in Johnson County contract with either PepsiCo or Coca-Cola based on money and other benefits provided by the companies, such as scholarships, scoreboards and awards for teachers.

The money paid to Center Grove by PepsiCo will be divided among all schools and the district to fund social expenses, such as awards and ceremonies for teachers, buying flowers for families of people who die or staff T-shirts, chief financial officer Paul Gabriel said.

Clark-Pleasant Schools will receive a total of $504,942 over their seven-year contract with Coca-

Cola. The money goes toward athletics, scholarships and clubs and will help subsidize youths’ fundraising efforts, director of finance Steve Sonntag said. Clark-Pleasant is in the second year of its deal.

PepsiCo pays $20,000 each year to provide products to Greenwood Community Schools, as well as a 13 to 20 percent commission on sales at each school, three $500 scholarships for their students and another $500 for athletic supplies. The total amount received each year is not available because the schools track it independently.

The money raised is distributed among the schools to help fund activities, said Todd Pritchett, director of fiscal services.

The new contract at Center Grove includes 716 free cases of PepsiCo products each year for the district to use at events and meetings. The company also will pay the school an extra $250 a year for athletics and a sign on scoreboards, Gabriel said.

Franklin Community Schools are in negotiations with Coca-Cola over a new contract that will begin in January. Their previous contract with the company lasted seven years and included a $20,000 rebate and 32 percent commission on sales. It included a $20,000 payment that went partially to fund a scoreboard.

The money collected from concessions goes to the athletic department, which uses it for uniforms and equipment, executive director of finance Jeff Mercer said. The vending machine money is spent in each building, he said.

Edinburgh Community Schools have gotten two scoreboards, one in 1998 and one in 2005, funded with money from their soda company, Coca-Cola. The district also gets a commission on sales that goes into the athletic department budget. Last year it totaled $1,069.

Athletic director David Walden said that he plans to negotiate with the company this year to get a new scoreboard at East Side Elementary School.

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