Pepsi Sponsors Party In Coke’s Backyard…
Written by: Je’ Wesley Day, MBA
On Sunday, December 13, 2015, Pepsi-Cola was a sponsor in hosting the 9th Annual Holiday Gala for the National Black MBA Association of Atlanta that was held less than a mile away from Coca-Cola’s U.S. Headquarters at the all new Mason Murer Fine Art Museum located in the heart of Atlanta Georgia’s Midtown area. Atlanta’s Black MBA’s were in for a big treat with other beverage sponsors such as Brown-Forman (Jack Daniels), Constellations Brands (Corona), Remy Martin, and Starbucks that provided an open bar with specialty drink selections all infused with Pepsi products for over one thousand attendees. In 2015, the Atlanta Chapter achieved 35 years of continuous service to the Atlanta metropolitan area, and these beverage partners made it a night and year to remember forever.
The event collected over 300 toys for Atlanta’s Children Shelter to receive during the holidays season. “I am anxiously anticipating coordinating 2016’s gala and will be opening registration earlier than ever before in mid-summer for this annually sold-out event, said Roderick Barton, Special Events Chair. Undoubtedly and without hesitation, this event received two thumbs up from Mixologist, Je’ Wesley (Twitter: @cocktailchron1) and Master Bartender, Tedz Clark (Twitter: @tedztheman).
Pepsi founded in a small town of New Bern, NC was created by Caleb Davis Bradham. However, the company currently resides in Purchase, NY. Bradham attended medical school in hopes to become a doctor and worked as a pharmacy apprentice at a local drug store. Family issues forced Bradham to return home, whereas he began to teach, and later opened a pharmacy. Bradham’s Drug Store would then lead to the discovery and home to Pepsi-Cola in 1893 with the first drink being named, “Brad’s Drink,” made from sugar, water, caramel, lemon oil, nutmeg, and other natural additives, became an overnight sensation and a fierce competitor for Coca-Cola who began one year prior in 1892. Pepsi was initially marketed as a “healthy” cola to aid in digestion. It was in 1902 when the Pepsi-Cola Company was formed due to the rising popularity.
The Atlanta Chapter of the National Black MBA Association was established in 1980. The membership is a mixture of graduate business degree holders, students, entrepreneurs, and well-established individuals within the corporate or government arenas. Contrary to what people may think it takes to become a member, having an MBA is not a requirement with only 60% of of it’s 1,000 members possessing an MBA. This is the largest chapter within the national body of the NBMBAA out ranking cities with larger black populations such as New York and Washington, D.C. and has been recognized as the chapter of the year in 2004, 2006, 2010, and 2015.
Eric Harrison, Chapter President, has clearly leveraged his position as Vice President of Sales for the Southwest Region of Pepsi-Cola with his role at the Atlanta chapter. Harrison made a sales pitch to panelists at a local chapter meeting held on Monday, January 25, 2016, that was attended by several of Atlanta’s top government officials, such as City Councilman – Andre Dickens, Atlanta Public School Board President – Courtney English, General Manager/CEO of MARTA – Keith Parker, Chairman of Fulton County, Georgia – John Eaves, President of Atlanta’s City Council – Ceasar Mitchell, and Manager of State and Local Affairs at Troutman Sanders Strategies – Lawrence Bell. Harrison stated to his elite panel in front of an audience of over 500 members, “my competitors only want to date you for what they can get out of you, while Pepsi-Cola wants a relationship and deliver on our promises.”
To view all photo’s from the evening, please visit https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1012338478826898.1073741872.147785071948914&type=1&l=08d0ac3b74.