Coca-Cola ends MLB sponsorship after three seasons

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Posted on: June 11, 2020 6:41 pm EDT

The beverage giant calls it quits after failing to reach an agreement with the league

While Major League Baseball (MLB) still figures out the best way to resume baseball games, one of its sponsors has decided to end its business with the league, according to Sports Business Journal (SBJ). After being sponsored by PepsiCo Inc. from 1997 to 2016, MLB started a new sponsorship with Coca-Cola Co. in April 2017, but that has now come to an end. However, the giant drink manufacturer announced other partnerships with 18 of the 30 operating clubs in the league.

According to SBJ, the two parts failed to agree on fresh terms and added to that is the current financial uncertainty faced due to the coronavirus pandemic. The deal with the baseball league will probably continue for what is left of this season due to the current state of the overall economy and the sports economy.

“Following a review of all Coca-Cola North America marketing assets at the conclusion of 2019, we made the decision to end our national sponsorship with MLB,” company spokeswoman Kate Hartman said in an email Wednesday. ”We will continue to support 16 MLB teams at the local level.”

Losing one major partner is just one of the fires that the league is trying to put out now. MLB continues to be in trouble and has no hopes of reaching an agreement with players yet. The major problem right now is the back and forth of proposals going from the club owners to the players through the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA). The latest reviewed proposal was a 76-game regular season with players getting 75% of their salaries; however, it has stalled like its predecessors.